MMEA seizes Vietnamese fishing boats in Sabah waters, 12 crewmen detained

The vessel operating illegally.

KOTA KINABALU: Maritime officials seized over 20kg of sea cucumbers and around 600 litres of diesel as well as two Vietnamese fishing boats in waters off Kudat on Thursday (April 18).

Also detained were 12 Vietnamese crew members who failed to produce identification and operation documents.

Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Kudat zone director Maurice Grenville Abeyeratne said the raid was conducted during the ongoing Ops Khas Pagar Laut near Pulau Sibongor Laut at around 9.30pm.

 Maritime officials seized sea cucumbers.Maritime officials seized sea cucumbers.

“In this raid, we noticed two foreign vessels operating in our waters and upon inspection, found that they did not have permission to do so,” he said in a statement on Friday (April 19).

He said the crew members were aged between 23 and 53.

The fishing equipment.The fishing equipment.

The seized items, including the vessels, were valued at about RM3.5mil, said Abeyeratne, adding that the case was being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 and Immigration Act 1956/63.

He urged coastal communities to work with the authorities in curbing crime at sea, and to report any suspicious activities to the Kudat operations centre at 088-611858 or MERS 999.

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