Vessels with Filipinos held in MMEA op
Published on: Friday, March 15, 2019
By: Zam Yusa

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained two fishing vessels and two skippers along with 14 Philippine crew members during Ops Sejahtera on Thursday.

A patrol boat detected and searched two boats at about 0.3 and 0.nautical miles respectively northeast of Gaya Island at 3am. 

 The boats were heading northeast of the island possibly towards a nearby oil rig.

 One of the vessels had six boats each equipped with a 15hp outboard engine but without a licence and registration number displayed on their body.

 Eight of the crew members had doubtful Chief Minister’s Department documents and one had an IMM13 certificate. 

 The other vessel carried a boat with an outboard engine but its skipper was not the one listed on its valid licence and was crewed by six people with the same doubtful documents.

 State MMEA Director Maritime Read Admiral Kamaruszaman Abu Hassan said the boats and crew were taken to the agency’s base. 

 The case is being investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Sabah Ports and Wharfs Department Enactment 2002.

 Kamaruszaman said MMEA will investigate whether those detained had encroached into oil rig waters in the west coast of Sabah, which are prohibited areas. 

 “MMEA received complaints about small boats with outboard engines carrying out fishing activities in the said areas.”


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