PASIR PUTEH (July 12): The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has detained 21 Vietnamese fishermen and seized two boats for encroaching and carrying out illegal fishing in the Malaysian waters last Tuesday.
Acting Kelantan MMEA director Maritime Commander Ismail Hamzah said the suspects, aged between 17 and 55, were arrested at 1.12pm and 2.40pm at 92 to 97 nautical miles from Tok Bali beach here.
He said the patrol team led by Maritime Captain Che Engku Suhaimi Che Engku Daik, in patrol vessel KM Pekan, had to take four hours to stopped the second boat as the suspects refused to cooperate.
“The foreign fishermen also acted aggressively by ramming their boat repeatedly into KM Pekan and dropping their nets to prevent the movement of the patrol vessel.
“At the same time, the boat was performing dangerous manoeuvres before it was caught on the side of KM Pekan, and thus providing the opportunity for the MMEA enforcers to climb up and examine the boat,” he told a press conference at the Tok Bali MMEA office here today.
Ismail said upon inspection, the enforcers found that the fishermen had thrown the boat’s Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation device into the sea to eliminate evidence of the boat’s locations in Malaysian waters. — Bernama