Kudat MMEA seizes Vietnamese fishing vessel with 20 crewmen for trespass

KOTA KINABALU: The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized a Vietnamese fishing vessel with 20 crew members for trespassing in Kudat waters on Thursday (April 15), a day after a similar arrest was made near Mantanani Island.

Kudat Maritime Zone director Commander Boon Chin Chau said the vessel was stopped about 34 nautical miles (63km) from Tanjung Simpang Mengayau in Kudat district.

He added that the skipper and crew ranged from 18 to 51 years of age.

In a statement on Friday (April 16), he said Kudat MMEA apprehended them under the Fisheries Act 1985 for fishing without the Fisheries Department director's permission, and under the Immigration Act 1959/63 for not possessing valid identification documents.

"Inspection of the boat found fishing equipment and their catch.

"The boat and the suspects were brought to Kudat Maritime Jetty for further investigation," he said.

It was reported earlier that five Vietnamese fishermen and their foreign vessel were detained on Wednesday morning (April 14) after they were found encroaching near Mantanani Island.

The crew and vessel in that incident were taken to the Sepanggar Maritime Jetty for further action.

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