31 Vietnamese fishermen claim trial to illegal fishing charge

The Vietnamese fishermen in court.

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By Dorcas Ting

KUCHING, May 17: The 31 Vietnamese fishermen who were nabbed by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on May 5 for alleged encroachment into Malaysian waters illegally pleaded not guilty at the Sessions Court, here, today.

Judge Mohd Taufik Mohd Yusoff fixed May 27 for further mention of the case.

The fishing vessel they were in was apprehended by MMEA at about 10.15am at 33 nautical miles off Tanjung Sirik for entering Malaysian waters without notifying the authorities by radio, telex or facsimile.

All the accused were charged under Subsection 16(3) of the Fisheries Act 1985 read together with Subsection 24(1) of same Act and punishable under Paragraph 25(a) of the same Act, which carries  a fine not exceeding RM1,000,000 each in the case of the owner or master and RM100,000 in the case of every member of the crew.

The accused were represented by counsel Charles M Sundram. — DayakDaily