Vietnamese boat caught with RM285,000 sea cucumbers, six held
SANDAKAN: The six crew members of a Vietnamese boat were detained by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) a er one tonne of sea cucumbers worth about RM285,000 were found in the vessel that encroached into Malaysian waters in Sandakan.
The MMEA Sandakan public relations unit said in a statement yesterday that the boat was detected moving suspiciously in high speed in the dark.
“A er pursuing the boat for 50 minutes, the maritime vessel managed to intercept it at around 9.55pm on Tuesday (Nov 5) night at 15.5 nautical miles northeast of Kuala Kinabatangan Besar,” it said.
“An inspection revealed that all six men, aged between 27 to 44, did not have valid documents.
“The boat crew are believed to have conducted illegal harvesting of sea cucumbers using a metal device specially designed to reach the seabed and causing harm to the ecosystem, especially the corals,” said MMEA Sandakan director Captain Mohd Khairulanuar Abd Majid.
The boat and fishing equipment were also confiscated, he said.
The case would be investigated under Immigration Act 1959/63 and Fisheries Act 1985, added Captain Mohd Khairulanuar.
This is the fourth Vietnamese vessel caught this year by Sandakan MMEA, which has come down hard on those stealing the country’s sea cucumbers.