MMEA detains two foreign vessels, crew members

One of the seized vessels.

MIRI: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Monday (June 28) detained two foreign fishing vessels along with 13 crew members, including two Vietnamese skippers, about 39 nautical miles off Sungai Miri.

MMEA Miri director Capt (Maritime) Md Fauzi Othmab said the two vessels were stopped during a patrol around 1pm.

One of the boats flew a Malaysian flag in an attempt to disguise its origins. Both are believed to be from Vietnam.

The crew members also tried to dispose of evidence, throwing equipment and their catch overboard.

After a pursuit that lasted almost 30 minutes, the foreign vessels were finally intercepted.

During inspection, MMEA  found that the two vessels did not have any legal documents or licences from the Fisheries Department to carry out fishing activities in Malaysian waters.

Also seized were 23,000 litres of diesel and fish weighing about one metric tonne, all worth around RM1.5mil.

The case will be investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 and the Immigration Act 1959/63.

The crew members of the two foreign vessels.