Malaysia: Seven vessels detained in Kota Tinggi

Desiree Tresa Gasper The Star 9 Jul 12;

JOHOR BARU: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Southern Region officers had detained seven vessels for anchoring at prohibited waters off the coast of Pengerang in Kota Tinggi here.

Its Chief First Admiral Adon Shalan said enforcement officers also arrested 82 crewmen during the special operation on July 3.

“The operation was conducted between 12pm and 2.30pm.

“Altogether, we detained one tug boat and six container vessels which were found to have been anchoring illegally in the area,” he said.

Adon added that the 82 crewmen were 54 Indonesians, 14 from Myanmar, 12 from Thailand and two from China.

“All the vessels are being investigated for failing to adhere to regulations and for obstructing other vessels that ply along the stretch.

“Their irresponsible behaviour could have caused accidents and possibly water pollution due to oil spills,” he said.

Adon said three of the vessels were registered in Singapore, one in Paraguay, one from Kiribati.

The captain of the last vessel however, had failed to produce any registration document.

“The case will be investigated under Section 491B(1) of the Merchants Ordinance Act 1952,” he said.

He added that MMEA officials were always conducting operations along the waters of Johor to ensure that residents were safe.

“We also want to ensure that illegal activities do not take place in the area to encourage positive development and economic growth especially for residents living in the coastal area,” he said.