During the 5.30pm sea patrol, marine police personnel spotted a boat with five people on board in Nusa Kuya waters and ordered the boatman to stop.
Upon further inspection, all passengers, aged between 16 and 50, failed to produce identity and travelling documents.
Sabah marine police chief assistant commissioner Mohamad Mandun said they entered Semporna waters via Sibugal in the southern Philippines.
“We detained them immediately and brought them to the Semporna police marine base for their statements to be recorded and for further action.”
He added that police also seized the boat which had a Malaysian flag attached to it.
By Avila Geraldine