PUTRAJAYA, May 18 (Bernama) -- A total of 123 Vietnamese fishing crew members and 25 boats were detained by Malaysian authorities during an operation, codenamed “Ops Naga”, conducted in waters off Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan between May 2 and 16.
The Home Ministry, in a statement, stated that the boats were among 266 vessels inspected during the integrated operation headed by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
Other agencies involved in the operation were the Royal Malaysia Navy (RMN), Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF), the Marine police, the police and the Fisheries Department.
"The cases are investigated under Section 15 (1) (a) of the Fisheries Act 1985 for conducting fishing activities without the permission of the Fisheries Director-General and the Immigration Act 1959/1963 for entering Malaysia without valid travel documents,” it said.
The ministry said following the success, “Ops Naga” would continue to be conducted against encroachment by foreign boats.
Last April 24, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said a multi-ministry task force would be set up to resolve the encroachment of foreign fishing vessels into Malaysian waters.
Meanwhile, in an operation conducted by MMEA and the Immigration Department last Tuesday, the ministry said 15 Vietnamese fishermen were detained for not having valid personal identification documents.