These fishing vessels that had Thailand citizens as crew members were seized by MMEA Sarawak last Friday.

KUCHING: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Sarawak has arrested 23 foreign fishermen and three local boats fishing in Sarawak waters last Friday.

MMEA Sarawak director First Maritime Admiral Robert Teh Geok Chuan said that a MMEA team carrying out on patrol at 10.12am, spotted three C2-class fishing vessels fishing about 27 nautical miles north of Tanjung Po, Kuching.

“The team immediately inspected the vessels and all three were detained for fishing within the prescribed distance of 30 nautical miles.

“Inspections also revealed that the three captains and 20 crew members were Thailand citizens aged between 28 and 56.

“They were then taken to Tun Abang Salahuddin Complex (Komtas) for further investigation,” he said in a statement.

The case is being investigated under Section 8 (b) of the Fisheries Act 1985 for allegedly violating licensing terms and conditions.

Robert added that the arrest proved that MMEA did not compromise with anyone who violated the law at sea.

MMEA is constantly striving to increase the security and law enforcement patrols in the country’s waters to ensure the safety of vessels and boats that are legally and lawfully compliant.

He urged the public with information on any suspicious activity in the waters to contact the Sarawak Malaysian Maritime Operations Centre at 082-432544.