KOTA KINABALU: Maritime authorities have detained six crewmen of a Vietnamese vessel that was found to have intruded Malaysian waters off Sabah’s northern Kudat district.

The fishing boat was spotted by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) about 101 nautical miles from Simpang Mengayau on Monday (Sept 19).

Kudat Zone MMEA director Maritime Commander Maurice Grenville Abeyeratne said their vessel KM Ikhlas intercepted the boat during a routine patrol at 2.27pm.

After a check, he said, they found the six crewmen aged between 23 and 53 on the fishing boat, adding none of them possessed any identification document.

“Upon further inspection, we also found fishing equipment on the boat which suggested they were trying to conduct fishing activities,” he said on Tuesday (Sept 20).

“The boat, as well as the crewmen, have been brought to the Kudat public jetty to be handed over to the Kudat MMEA office for further investigations,” he added.

Abeyeratne said the case was being investigated under the Immigration Act 1963 as well as the Fisheries Act 1985/63.

He advised coastal communities to report the presence of foreign vessels either to the Malaysia Emergency Response Services (MERS) 999 number or the Kudat Maritime Zone operations centre at 088-611858.


SOURCE: https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2022/09/20/mmea-intercepts-vietnamese-fishing-boat-off-kudat-six-detained