Vietnamese Boats Ram KM Libaran To Avoid Getting Caught For Encroaching

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The two Vietnamese boats did not have the necessary permits to fish in Sabah waters. The crew tried to flee in their vessels to avoid arrest. – Photo credit MMEA Sabah

SANDAKAN: Two Vietnamese fishing boats with 29 crew members and skippers were detained by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for encroaching into Malaysian waters near Pulau Billiean, Sunday.

KM Rumbia Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander (M) Mohamed Yusoff Mohamed Ali said the two skippers and 27 crew members, all Vietnamese nationals, aged between 22 and 55 years old, had no identification documents.

The two Vietnamese fishing boats were detained by the MMEA vessel, KM Libaran at 12.34pm.

Mohamed Yusoff said while MMEA team was trying to investigate, the two fishing boats tried to escape towards the waters of the Philippines.

“There was a 50-minute chase and the fishing boats rammed into KM Libaran several times in their attempts to avoid arrest,” he said at a press conference, here Monday.

KM Libaran managed to detain one of the fishing boats and its skipper and 12 crews at 1.52pm while another vessel, operated by a skipper and 15 crews, was detained 20 minutes later.

The two fishing boats did not have permits to fish in Malaysian waters and they were detained for further action.

The case is being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985.