MMEA: Foreign fishermen’s assets worth almost RM700m seized since 2019

MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som viewing the seized vessels belonging to foreign fishermen at the MMEA Kelantan Vessel Detention Centre, October 4, 2021. — Bernama pic
MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som viewing the seized vessels belonging to foreign fishermen at the MMEA Kelantan Vessel Detention Centre, October 4, 2021. — Bernama pic

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PASIR PUTEH, Oct 4 — The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) recorded the seizure of assets belonging to foreign fishermen worth almost RM700 million from 2019 to last month throughout its operations codenamed Op Naga and Op Kuda Laut.

MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said the total seizure involved the value of boats, auction of catches, fines and compounds.

“Through Op Naga, MMEA has seized 303 boats with a total seizure value of RM445 million, including boats and auction proceeds,” he told reporters after an official visit to the MMEA Kelantan Vessel Detention Centre, here today.

Also present was Kelantan MMEA Director Maritime Captain Syed Nor Adli Syed Ab Rahman.

Mohd Zubil said through the same operation, a total of 2,000 foreign fishing boat crews comprising Vietnamese nationals and Indonesians were also detained.

He said for Op Kuda Laut, a total of 149 boats were seized with a total value of RM224 million while a total of 1,516 foreign fishing crews were detained.

“Since the establishment of Maritime Malaysia (MMEA), I expect billions of ringgit worth of seizures involving foreign fishermen have been made. What I can sum up is that 90 per cent of the boats that had encroached the country’s waters belonged to Vietnamese fishermen,” he added.

Mohd Zubil also urged local fishermen to cooperate by channelling information to curb the encroachment of foreign fishermen. — Bernama

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