MERSING: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) detained 19 crews, including a Vietnamese skipper for illegally fishing at 12 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Aur here yesterday.

Mersing Maritime Zone director Commander Khairul Nizam Misran said the agency also seized two fishing vessels, fishing equipment and catch weighing about 3,000 kilogrammes, worth RM3.1 million.

He said that both boats were held while trawling in the area by MMEA and marine police patrol boats through Op Jaksa and Op Bersepadu at 2.30 pm on Tuesday.

“The patrol boats rushed to the scene after receiving information on the vessels from the crew of an angling boat nearby.

“The 19 crew members, including the skipper, failed to provide identification documents and are Vietnamese aged between 18 and 51. All were brought to the Teluk Gading Maritime Post for further investigation,” he said in a statement today.

The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985 for trespassing and fishing in Malaysian waters without permission and the Immigration Act 1959/1963 for failure to produce valid identification documents. - Bernama

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