MERSING: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has arrested 52 Vietnam nationals and seized eight trawlers for anchoring illegally near Sungai Endau here.
Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said that the suspects, age between 22 and 55 years old, were reported anchoring at an illegal jetty 3.2 nautical miles (6km) from the riverbanks at about 8.45pm on Wednesday (March 31).
“Three of the trawlers had entered Sungai Endau in a suspicious manner prompting investigations by MMEA.
“At the same time, we also received reports from the public on the remaining trawlers that were closely anchored together at an illegal jetty near the river, ” he said in a statement Thursday (April 1).
He added that investigations revealed that all of the trawlers are type C fishing vessels with a crew of 52.
The suspects are believed to have just arrived based on their GPS history data and records.
“The group also had suspicious personal documents with an expired boat licence.
“All of the suspects have been brought to the Mersing MMEA office for further investigations, ” he said adding that the case is being investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Fisheries Act 1985.