MERSING: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) has seized four Thai fishing vessels and arrested 19 crew members for encroaching into Malaysian waters.

MMEA Mersing Maritime Zone director Maritime Commander Suhaizan Saadin said the vessels and crew members were apprehended some 9.7 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Pemanggil on Wednesday (June 27).

“The MMEA patrol boat was conducting operations under Ops Jaksa and Ops Tiris around Mersing waters when they came across the vessels.

“Checks on the four vessels found no written documents indicating that permission had been granted for them to be in Malaysian waters,” he said in a statement.

He said the crew members, aged between 26 and 67, are from Thailand, Cambodia, and Myanmar and have valid travel documents.

“The vessels have been sent to the Teluk Gading maritime post for further investigation under the Fisheries Act 1985 for suspicion of entering Malaysian waters without permission,” he said.

The public can reach out to the MMEA to provide information or in the event of any emergency at sea, through its MERS line at 999 or call the Johor MMEA operation centre at 07-219 9404.