KUALA TERENGGANU, May 29 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained eight Vietnamese fishing boats for encroaching into Malaysian waters, in an operation conducted from May 25 to 28.
Pahang Maritime director, Rear Admiral, Datuk Zulkarnain Mohd Omar said in the operation dubbed Ops Naga, 63 fishermen aged between 18 and 57 were arrested and all were without valid identification documents.
“Six of the boats were detained by the Pekan Patrol Vessel about 110 to 130 nautical miles from Muara Tok Bali (in Kelantan) on May 25.
“On May 26, a boat was detained by RMN KD Handalan about 100 nautical miles from Kuala Terengganu and last night another boat was seized about 39 nautical miles from Muara Tok Bali by a Maritime Rescue vessel,” he told a press conference at the Terengganu State Maritime Headquarters, here today.
He said the seized items including the boats and marine products were estimated at about RM10 million and the case was being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 and Immigration Act 1959/63.
In the integrated operation conducted since April 24, 496 boats were inspected and 41 Vietnamese fishing boats were detained in Terengganu, Kelantan and Pahang waters, with total seizure valued at RM45 million.
Zulkarnain added that the MMEA would beef up patrols during the upcoming festive season to ensure the security of the country’s waters.
He also urged the fishing community to cooperate in combating criminal activities in national waters by channeling information to MERS 999 or Terengganu State Maritime Operations Centre at 09-6223657. — Bernama