KUALA TERENGGANU, Jun 21 – The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized 14,000 litres of subsidised diesel worth RM21,000 and arrested seven Vietnamese fishermen on June 15. Terengganu MMEA director Capt Zainolabidin Jusoh said the seven Vietnamese fishermen who were using a cargo boat as cover were arrested 103 nautical miles from here.
“A MMEA vessel on routine patrol detected an anchored cargo boat and suspecting something amiss, they conducted inspection and found the subsidised diesel. They then arrested three Vietnamese fishermen. Further inspection of the cargo boat at Kuala Terengganu MMEA base found four more Vietnamese fishermen hiding in a room,” he told a press conference here, Monday.
The subsidised diesel was believed obtained from their fellow fishermen who work here and meant to be smuggled out of this country. Zainolabidin said five of the Vietnamese fishermen did not have identity papers. They were remanded for two weeks to assist investigation.
The case was investigated under the Control of Supplies Act 1961, Merchant Shipping Act 1959, Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Customs Act 1967. Meanwhile, in a separate case, MMEA arrested three foreign fishermen for using class C boats and thus violated conditions of the licence.
The fishermen were arrested 26 nautical miles from here. In the meanwhile, the MMEA seized the fishing boat and equipment worth RM500,000. The fishermen were taken to Kuala Terengganu MMEA base for investigation under the Fisheries Act 1985. — Bernama