KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police are investigating three Ministry of Health drivers for alleged involvement in human trafficking using government vehicles.
The drivers were arrested for ignoring police orders to stop at three roadblocks on the east coast of Sabah.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hazani Ghazali said on Wednesday (July 21) that the suspects were under investigation under the Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants Act (Atipsom) for their alleged involvement in the smuggling of migrants from Lahad Datu to Tawau.
He said they are also exploring the possibility of using the crime prevention law against the three suspects who were arrested after passing three inter-district roadblocks on July 13.
“He is still under investigation,” said Comm. Hazani.
Photos of suspects and seized vehicles have gone viral on social media in the past two days.
The three suspects, aged 39 to 48, from Kunak district, were initially arrested for obstructing a police officer in the performance of his duties as well as failing to stop at a roadblock at KM38 Kunak-Lahad Datu around 8 p.m. on July 13.
It was learned that the suspects, in two vehicles registered by the Ministry of Health, ignored orders to stop at the KM38 roadblock when something was spotted among the luggage inside the vehicles.
The drivers passed the roadblock and two others on the road to Tawau despite being ordered to stop.
The police found them and arrested them in Tawau.
It is learned that the suspects were transporting 15 illegal immigrants from Lahad Datu to a disembarkation point in Tawau.
When the suspects were arrested, the illegal immigrants were no longer in the vehicles.