MMEA seize three fishing vessels for encroaching M'sian waters
KUALA TERENGGANU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized three fishing vessels for encroaching into Malaysian waters during a four-day “Gading Timur” operation at Tanjung Gemok near here on Tuesday.
Worth a combined RM3 million, two of the vessels are Vietnamese, while one is Malaysian-registered. The boats had a combined crew of 25.
MMEA East Coast Region director First Admiral Datuk Mamu Said Alee said the agency’s enforcement officers were offered a bribe of RM3,000 cash by a Vietnamese ‘tekong’ of one of the vessels.
Mamu said the incident occurred when six MMEA officers boarded his fishing vessel for an inspection.
“The tekong was detained by MMEA, together with the 24 fishermen who had encroached into Malaysian waters and were without valid documents. The fishermen’s three vessels were also seized,” he told reporters at the Kuala Terengganu MMEA head office in Pulau Kambing yesterday.
Mamu said 150 enforcement officers in three vessels from Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang were involved in the operation.
“One of the Vietnamese vessels had a modified fuel tank that was empty during inspection,” he added.
Mamu said the operation was held for six hours near Tanjung Gemok, about 101 nautical miles from Kuala Terengganu.
“The 25 crew are aged between 21 and 56,” he said, adding that those without valid travel documents will be referred to the Immigration Department.
The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act Commission Act 2009 and the Immigration Act 1959/63.