Overlapping Maritime Claims lead to Detentions

Kuala Terengganu fishing boats Malaysia
Pictured are fishing boats docked at Kuala Terengganu harbour in Malaysia. The two Vietnamese fishing boats along with their equipment and crew members were detained by MMEA officials onboard the KM Langkawi. Picture Courtesy - Pixabay.

Malaysia and Vietnam do not have clear maritime borders in the South China Sea.

Publisert Sist oppdatert

By Vikram Malik, Maritime Direct India Correspondent

The absence of clear maritime borders between Malaysia and Vietnam has led to 16 Vietnamese fishermen being detained off Terengganu state, on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia. The fact that China claims most of the waterways in this area only complicates matters further.

Checks conducted by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) confirmed that 16 personnel onboard two fishing boats neither possessed valid IDs nor had permission to fish in Malaysian waters. They are also suspected of having fake registration numbers on their vessels.

Besides the two boats, Malaysian authorities have seized fishing gear, diesel supplies, and catch that together add up to a value of RM 3 million (nearly 750,000 US Dollars at the current exchange rate).

The fishermen, aged between 18 to 62, were tested for the novel coronavirus before being detained under Malaysia’s Fisheries Act 1985 and Immigration Act 1959/63.

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