MMEA detains two ships for illegally anchoring in Johor waters

KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained two vessels for anchoring illegally in Johor waters near here.

MMEA Johor director First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria said both ships were detained at about 11.5 nautical miles (21.3km) from Tanjung Siang and 8.3 nautical miles (15.3km) from Tanjung Balau between 12pm and 2pm.

"The first vessel was registered in Panama and was crewed by five men from Indonesia and Myanmar, aged between 20 and 38.

"The second ship was from Cyprus, and was crewed by 20 men from the Philippines and Ukraine, aged between 21 and 49," he said in a statement here on Sunday (Nov 14).

He added that the entire crew had valid travel documents. However, both ship's captains failed to produce permission to anchor documents from the Marine Director.

Both vessels and their crew were detained and investigated under Section 49B(1)(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for anchoring illegally.

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 MMEA would continue to monitor the safety and sovereignty of the country even during the monsoon season.

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