MIRI: A Vietnamese fishing vessel disguised as a local boat was seized off the ocast of Miri, along with six tonnes of fish illegally caught by the crew.
The seizure of their catch, worth RM500,000, took place close to midnight on Tuesday (May 28) some 41 nautical miles off Miri.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) found the vessel in the midst of carrying out fishing activities, said Miri MMEA enforcement chief Capt Mohd Fauzi Othman today.
"Our patrol team spotted a vessel carrying out fishing activities off the Miri coast.
"It looked like a local boat. When we approached it, we found it was Viet boat disguised as a local boat.
"Inspections on board the vessel found that there were 16 Viets crew aged between 16 to 46. They had no permit to fish in Malaysian waters.
"There were 6,000kg of catch on board. The fish haul is worth at least RM500,000," he said.
The haul plus the boat and the crew were taken ashore to Miri this morning (May 29).
The crew are being placed under remand. They will be charged soon for illegal fishing, added Capt Fauzi.
He called for public information to help curb illegal fishing. Those with information can call MMEA Miri at 085-418204.