Australia intends to provide two retired Australian Customs and Border Protection Bay Class patrol boats to Malaysia by the middle of next year, said Australian Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Service Scott Morrison.

He said the boats would be used by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) to counter people-smuggling operations.

Australia and Malaysia had cooperated closely to combat this illegal activity, he added.

“Providing two bay class boats to our valued partners is a practical operational strategy to stem this criminal trade closer to the point of origin,” he said in a statement issued by MMEA here on Wednesday.

He said Australia would provide training on the use of the patrol boats.

He said it would involve Australian Customs and Border Protection Services officers assisting in the development of MMEA’s existing capability.

The Bay Class Patrol boats have a range of 1,000 nautical miles at 20 knots, are crewed by 12 officers and equipped with two response tenders capable of being launched from moving patrol boat in most sea states.

On Wednesday morning, MMEA director-general Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish received Morrison at the MMEA office in Putrajaya.

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