MERSING: A local fishing vessel was detained on Thursday (May 4) at about three nautical miles (5.55km) off Pulau Tinggi near here at 6.30pm for illegally hiring three Myanmar nationals.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Mersing Zone Comm Maritime Suhaizan Saadin said the three suspects were caught during Ops Jaksa.
He said the vessel with five crew members on board – two local and three Myanmar nationals – were apprehended while fishing using a trawler in the area.
“Initial investigation found the three foreigners did not have permits from the Fisheries Department to engage in fishing activities,’’ Comm Maritime Suhaizan said in a statement.
He said the suspects including a captain aged between 35 and 51, were categorized as Class C fishermen adding MMEA also seized 600kg of fish from them.
Comm Maritime Suhaizan said the crew and the boat were taken to the Teluk Gading jetty near here before being handed over to the MMEA investigation officers to assist with the investigation.
He said the case was being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for violating the valid conditions of the license - employing foreign crew without the written permission of the Fisheries Department.
“We are also investigating the case under the Immigration Act 1959/63 for not having valid identification documents,’’ said Comm Maritime Suhaizan.
He added the agency would not compromise and would take strict action against fishermen or vessel owners for violating Malaysian laws within the country’s maritime zones.
Comm Maritime Suhaizan called upon those with information or complaints on maritime-related crimes and accidents within Johor's waters to contact the Johor Maritime Operations Centre at 07-2199404 or MERS 999.