Singapore tugboat detained for illegal anchoring off Johor

KOTA TINGGI: A Singapore-registered tugboat was detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for illegal anchoring in Johor waters.

Johor MMEA director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said the vessel was spotted at 13.7 nautical miles (about 25.3km) north east Tanjung Kelesa near here at around 6.30pm on Wednesday (Oct 27).

“Our patrol unit was carrying out a routine round under Op Jangkar Haram aimed at eradicating illegal anchoring activity in Johor territorial waters,when they saw the vessel. The ship captain failed to produce any valid documents from the Marine Department granting it permission to anchor here,” he said.

“There were altogether 13 people on board, including Filipino and Russian nationals aged 31 to 48, and all of them possessed valid identification documents,” added Nurul Hizam on Thursday (Oct 28).

He said that the captain and a crew member had been brought to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime Zone office for further investigations under Section 49B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952.

The offence is punishable with a fine of up to RM100,000, a jail term of not more than two years or both upon conviction.

Nurul Hizam added that the MMEA would continue monitoring the seas to keep illegal activities at bay.

Those with information about such activities or need emergency assistance can call the Johor maritime operations centre at 07-2199 401.

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