Malaysia detains 88 Vietnamese fishermen over alleged illegal fishing: report

By Anh Ngoc   July 26, 2016 | 08:11 pm PT
Malaysia detains 88 Vietnamese fishermen over alleged illegal fishing: report
Vietnamese fishermen arrested by Malaysian authorities. Photo by MMEA.
It would appear that Vietnamese fishermen need to check their GPS more carefully.

Eight fishing vessels and 88 Vietnamese crew members have been detained by Malaysian authorities for alleged illegal fishing, local newspaper The Star reported.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) made the arrest during its three-day operation from July 22 to 24, aimed to thwart illegal intrusions into the countery's waters, according to the newspaper.

The report quoted MMEA chief Zainolabidin Jusoh as saying that those arrested were aged between 19 and 63 while their catch of fish and squid worth RM53,700 (US$13,000) was also seized. The eight fishing vessels and the equipment seized were worth about RM2.7mil ($665,000).

“The first raid, on Friday, occurred about 45 nautical miles off the Malaysian state of Kuala Terengganu, between 6am and 9am, when four C2 class vessels with 43 Vietnamese crew and the skipper were detained,” Zainolabidin told a press conference at the MMEA office on Monday.

He said 18 more Vietnamese crew members and a skipper were detained at 9 p.m. the next day and another 27 were arrested about 16 hours later, all within the proximity of Kuala Terengganu’s waters.

According to Zainolabidin, only 12 of the fishermen were carrying valid documents, and the rest will be held in custody for 14 days.

The Malaysian government has recently increased maritime surveillance to protect its waters.

Over 30 fishing boats and hundreds of Vietnamese fishermen have been arrested for straying into Malaysian waters since the beginning of this year, according to the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia.

Related news:

> Vietnam seizes Thai vessel carrying 260,000 liters of illegal gasoline

> Indonesia hands over 65 arrested Vietnamese fishermen

> Malaysia detains 20 Vietnamese fishermen for intrusion

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