KOTA TINGGI: A Denmark-registered tanker has been detained for anchoring illegally in Johor waters.
Johor Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the ship was detained 23.8 nautical miles east of Tanjung Gemoh at 6.51pm on Thursday (May 27).
“The ship was detained by MMEA during a routine check where they spotted the ship anchoring at an unauthorised area.
"Checks found that the 183m ship was manned by a crew of 19 men, including the captain, aged between 29 and 49, ” he said in a statement here on Friday (May 28).
He said the crew, comprising Russian, Filipino, Indian, Ukrainian and Romanian nationals, possessed valid identification documents.
“The ship's captain failed to provide any anchoring permission documents as well as notification of arrival in Malaysian waters.
“One of the crew members was brought ashore for Covid-19 screening before being taken to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone investigation unit for further investigation, ” he said.
The matter is being investigated under Section 49B(1) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for anchoring without permission from the Marine Department.
If found guilty, offenders can be fined not more than RM100,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.
“For the record, a total of 42 ships were detained during Ops Jangkar Haram, bringing the total number of cases under the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 by the Johor MMEA this year to 62.
“MMEA will continue to ensure that standard operating procedures (SOPs) are taken seriously to curb the spread of the Covid-19 variant from seafarers coming from various countries, ” he said.
He also urged all ship owners and captains to adhere to procedures and regulations before entering and anchoring in Malaysian waters.
“MMEA will always ensure the safety and sovereignty of the country's waters are preserved, ” he said.