MMEA arrests five Indonesian fishermen for encroachment

GEORGE TOWN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has arrested five Indonesian fishermen who were found to have encroached into a Malaysian fishing zone on Monday (March 22).

Penang Maritime director Capt Abd Razak Mohamed (pic) said the men were detained after their fishing boat was detected by the patrol boat KM Burau during a routine operation.

"The boat was found fishing some 32.3 nautical miles west of Pulau Kendi at about 5pm.

"On the boat were five Indonesian crew, including the skipper, aged between 18 and 45 and without valid identification documents," he said in a statement on Tuesday (March 23).

Capt Abd Razak said the suspects were detained for encroaching in Malaysian waters and the case will be investigated under Section 15(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985 for fishing without the permission of the fisheries director general.

Capt Abd Razak said the offence carries a maximum fine of RM6mil for the skipper, RM500,000 for each crew member, and a jail term between six months and one year, upon conviction.

He said the fishermen and their boat were taken to the Batu Maung Shipyard jetty for further action.

In a separate development, the state MMEA received a floating jetty, which can be used to facilitate additional asset management and vessel seizures, at the Batu Uban marine police jetty here.

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