LABUAN: Thirty-six Vietnamese fishermen on five fishing boats bearing fake local registration numbers were nabbed by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in Malaysian waters yesterday.
The men, aged 16 to 57, were caught fishing illegally in Tanjung Kubong waters at 11am.
They were detained after an MMEA unit, which grew suspicious of their boats, carried out an inspection of the vessels.
“(An initial inspection by) the MMEA team, which was conducting Op Sejahtera, found that although the boats resembled Vietnamese fishing vessels, they carried local registration numbers.
“Further investigation found that all the crewmembers and the skipper were Vietnamese.
“They all presented identity documents and papers such as their boat and fishing licenses – but they all looked dubious,” said Labuan Maritime Zone director, Maritime Captain Che Adnan Md Isa.
The men were taken to the Labuan Maritime Zone jetty for further investigation according to the Fisheries Act 1985.
Che Adnan advised members of the public to inform the authorities of any suspicious activities in the country’s waters, including the theft of Malaysia’s fish resources.