IPOH: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has chased away some 363 Indonesian fishing boats that encroached into Malaysian waters since March 18.
MMEA director-general Maritime Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said all the boats were found to have attempted to fish illegally at the Malacca Strait.
He said in November alone, MMRA ships KM Malawali and KM Rawa turned away 173 fishing boats that entered Malaysian waters near Pulau Jerak, near Lumut.
"Checks on all boats found that they carried between five and eight crew members, including captains, and fishing equipment.
"In the months before November, we also chased away about 100 boats," he said in a statement Friday (Nov 27).
"The act of chasing away fishing boats and boats carrying illegal immigrants was to cut off the spread of Covid-19 through foreigners," he added.
Zubil said he has contacted his counterpart in Indonesia and the Indonesian Consulate-General in Penang about the incidents.
"We wish to get their cooperation to handle the matter involving illegal immigrants.
"We will also beef up our enforcement patrols and intelligence work, while working with various enforcement agencies to combat entry by illegal immigrants.
"We also urge the maritime community to cooperate with us to combat against tontos or informers, agents of encroaching foreign fishermen and illegal immigrants from committing offences," he added.
Those with information can contact the maritime operations centre at 03-8943 4001, or National Task Force at 011-6251 1123.
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