JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized 80 ships since early this year for anchoring illegally in Johor waters.
Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said that in the latest incident, two tankers suspected of anchoring illegally were seized off Kota Tinggi district.
“A Kiribati-registered ship with four Indonesian crew on board were nabbed on Friday. The ship was seized at 2.55pm, 5.4 nautical miles from Tanjung Punggai.
“On the previous day, a Singapore-registered ship was seized at 11.33am, 14.5 nautical miles from Tanjung Penawar. On board were 21 crewmen from China and Pakistan,” he said in a statement here yesterday.
He noted that all the crewmen had valid identification documents.
“However, the captains of both ships failed to provide documents showing that they had permission to anchor in Malaysian waters,” he said, adding that the case is being investigated under Section 491B(1)(l) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for illegal anchoring.
Nurul Hizam said a total of four ships had been nabbed for illegally anchoring in the past week alone.
“Although several countries have issued stern warnings for the shipping industry to abide by the procedures set for anchoring in Malaysian waters, there are still those those who fail to adhere to the regulations.
“MMEA will continue to increase its enforcement to ensure the security and sovereignty of the country is protected,” he said.