Malaysia seized two boats and arrested nine Vietnamese fishermen for illegally fishing in its waters on Tuesday, Malaysian authorities said.
The first boat was detained about 49 nautical miles from Tok Bali at 1:30 p.m., while the second was captured about 49 nautical miles from the same location at 2 p.m., according to Nurul Hizam Zakaria from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
The agency seized the two boats, which were holding a combined catch of sea cucumbers worth around $175,000.
The boats are also accused of engaging in diesel smuggling.
Vietnamese fishermen are often caught fishing illegally in foreign waters.
In February, Australian authorities seized two fishing vessels and 29 Vietnamese fishermen for invading its waters, while Malaysia seized a Vietnamese fishing boat with 12 fishermen onboard for operating in its exclusive economic zone in December last year.
To prevent illegal fishing, Vietnam’s Fisheries Resources Surveillance Department is trying to raise awareness about maritime boundaries and international maritime laws, and conducts frequent patrols to prevent potential violations.