For­eign ves­sel seized in Me­laka

New Straits Times - - News -

ME­LAKA: Af­ter months of com­plaints by fish­er­men and lo­cals about il­le­gal sand min­ing off the coast here, the Malaysian Mar­itime En­force­ment Agency (MMEA) seized a Mon­go­lian reg­is­tered ves­sel, Ocean­line SC 2301, with eight crew­men from China at 12.20am yes­ter­day.

The crew were or­dered to an­chor off the coast of Kle­bang on sus­pi­cion that they were in­volved in il­le­gal sand min­ing about three nau­ti­cal miles off Pu­lau Upih.

Fish­er­men and vil­lagers have, since De­cem­ber last year, high­lighted il­le­gal sand min­ing go­ing on in the area be­yond per­mit­ted hours be­tween 7am and 7pm.

MMEA Kuala Linggi mar­itime dis­trict di­rec­tor Cap­tain Ah­mad Faridi Fer­daus said the ves­sel was stopped by an en­force­ment team from the Kuala Linggi MMEA base dur­ing an op­er­a­tion co­de­named Op Sa­tria Se­la­tan in the Straits of Malacca.

“Checks on the ves­sel found that it was con­duct­ing sand min­ing be­yond per­mit­ted hours and its in­land ship­ping li­cence had also ex­pired,” he said.

The eight crew mem­bers, aged be­tween 20 and 51, were de­tained to as­sist in in­ves­ti­ga­tions un­der the Con­ti­nen­tal Shelf Act 1966 and the Mer­chant Ship­ping Or­di­nance 1952.

Faridi said these were the first ar­rests for il­le­gal sand min­ing this year fol­low­ing com­plaints from lo­cals.

“We will boost op­er­a­tions to min­imise mar­itime of­fences and crime in the area. We urge the peo­ple to share in­for­ma­tion on such crimes.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.