MMEA seize boat, equipment worth RM1 mln over alleged illegal fishing

Some of the detained crew members of the fishing boat.

By Malcolm Lau

KUCHING, July 12: A fishing boat and its 16 crew members were detained after they were spotted allegedly fishing illegally 113 nautical miles north of Tanjung Kidurong, Bintulu yesterday at 12.30pm.

“A total of 16 crew members including the boat’s captain from Vietnam, aged 27 to 55-years-old, were all arrested by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sri Aman during the ‘Op Naga Timur’ operation,” Acting Director of APMM Bintulu zone, Commander Effendy Mohamed Fadil disclosed in the press statement.

“During the operation, the boat was found fishing using the diving method.”

According to Effendy, three crew members failed to show their permits when checked by MMEA personnel.

“All of them will be brought to Bintulu for Covid-19 tests and also for investigation,” Effendy added.

He revealed that all the fishing equipment and the boat worth a total of RM1 million were confiscated by MMEA for further investigation and the crew members will be investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985.

“The crew members who had failed to show documentation and permits will be investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63 as well,” Effendy added. — DayakDaily