KUANTAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Pahang apprehended a Vietnamese fishing vessel and its six crew members for encroaching into Malaysian waters and illegally harvesting marine resources near Tioman Island.

Last Thursday, both the boat and its 250-kilogramme catch, valued at approximately RM1.7 million, were seized.

Director, First Admiral (M) Mazlan Mat Rejab, said that during aerial patrols over Pahang waters, they identified a suspicious boat and apprehended it approximately 35 nautical miles northeast of Tioman Island.

“There were six crew members, including the skipper, aged between 19 and 37 years, aboard the boat, all of whom were Vietnamese males.

“They did not have any identification documents and presented dubious boat licenses, and had no authorisation to fish in Malaysian waters,“ he said in a statement today.

The case is being investigated under Section 15(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985, which stipulates a fine not exceeding RM6 million for the captain and RM600,000 for each crew member, upon conviction, he added. -Bernama