Fish-bombing deaths: Agriculture Ministry waiting full report from cops

  • Nation
  • Monday, 08 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry is awaiting the full police report on the two Chinese tourists and their local divemaster who were believed to have been killed by fish bombs while diving in waters off Semporna in Sabah's east coast on Friday (July 5).

Its minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub said that such cases were rare and he would wait for the full details from the police before making any comments.

"We will wait for the actual report from the police. I think the police can investigate it swiftly," he told reporters at the parliament lobby Monday (July8).

It was reported that tourism operators are blaming fish-bombing activities for the  deaths, but the police have yet to officially confirm it.

It is learnt that prior to the 5pm incident, a local Semporna divemaster had taken the two male Chinese tourists for their dive.

The two Chinese tourists were identified as Zhao Zheng and Xu Yingjie.

According to witnesses in Semporna, there were several fishing boats operated by sea gypsies near where the three divers were killed.

Asked on the next course of action, Salahuddin said he would let the authorities investigate the case.

"We have to verify first who is involved so that we can take action in the future," he added.

Sabah Association of Tour and Travel Agents (SATTA) president Datuk Winston Liaw had condemned fishermen using fish bombs in their operations and urged authorities to take immediate action against the offenders.

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