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Intrusion by foreign vessel
Published on: Thursday, June 14, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained a foreign fishing boat about 46 nautical miles northwest of Mantanani Island, off Kota Belud, Tuesday.

A patrol boat during "Ops Pagar Laut" detected the boat attempting to flee to the Philippines border and intercepted it around 6pm.

An inspection on the boat found its Viet skipper and four crew aged between 30 and 36.

Head of Kota Kinabalu Maritime Zone, First Admiral Adam Aziz, said the boat was detained for intruding into the country's waters and fishing without approval.

"The boat and its five Viet crew were brought to the MMEA Kota Kinabalu Zone jetty for further action.

Several fishing equipment such as rawai were also seized," he told a press conference on the Arau Maritime Ship, here, Wednesday.

The case is investigated under Section 15(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985 for fishing without approval and can be charged under Section 25(a) of the same Act, with the skipper fined up to one million ringgit and each crew fined up to RM100,000, on conviction.

According to Aziz, MMEA has detained 30 foreign fishing boats in Sabah since 2013 until now, with 19 of them Viet fishing boats.

He said MMEA will not compromise with any parties, especially foreign fishermen, who intruded into the country's waters to reap marine products without approval, even during the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebration.

"MMEA will continue its operations through 'Op Pagar Laut' until two weeks after the festivity and will also continue to conduct inspections to prevent any unwanted incidents," he said, adding that tourist and passenger boat operators are reminded to abide by all safety aspects. - Jegathisan Sivanesan

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