MERSING: A Vietnam-registered fishing boat with 3,500kg of fish on board has been detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for encroaching into local waters.
Mersing zone MMEA director maritime commander Khairul Nizam Misran said the vessel was detected 16 nautical miles (29.6km) North-East of Pulau Aur here at around noon on Tuesday (Oct 4).
"Some fishing enthusiasts near the island lodged a complaint about the vessel and we immediately sent a patrol boat to the location.
"The boat had an all-Vietnamese crew of 21 people aged 17 to 47. All of them failed to produce identification documents.
"We also seized fishing equipment, about 3,500kg of fish and around 1,000 litres of diesel found on the boat," he said on Wednesday (Oct 5).
Khairul Nizam added that the suspects did not have permission to fish in Malaysian waters.
The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for encroaching and catching fish in Malaysian waters without approval from the Fisheries director as well as the Immigration Act for failure to produce valid identification documents.
He urged the maritime community to continue channelling useful information to the authorities to combat illegal activities.
The public can get in touch with the Johor maritime operations centre at 07-219 904 or contact MERS 999 for emergencies.