Illegal fishing: MMEA seizes RM2.5 mln in boats, assets

Teh (right) speaking to the detained crew at the press conference.

By Malcolm Lau

KUCHING, Aug 17: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized two fishing vessels and assets worth RM2.5 million some 225 nautical miles off Tanjung Utara Po on Aug 12.

“The arrest was made at 12.30am on the 12th August 2020 when the patrol team who were on the duty for ‘Op Naga Timur’ spotted the two illegal fishing vessels netting the fishes together,” APMM First Admiral, Robert Teh Geok Chuan said during a press conference at the MMEA jetty, Tun Abang Salahuddin Maritime Complex (Komtas) here this afternoon.

“A total of 17 crew members were found in the first vessel while another three were on the other fishing vessel,” Teh added.

All the suspects were from Vietnam, aged between 24 to 53-years-old. No personal identification documents were found on them.

“The two fishing vessels, fishing equipment, varieties of fish species and 13,000 litres of diesel which were seized by the team were worth RM2.5 million,” Teh revealed.

All suspects underwent Covid-19 tests at the Jalan Masjid health clinic.

The case will be investigated under Section 15(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985. — DayakDaily