14 including nine Filipinos held for illegal fishing in waters off Labuan oil rig

LABUAN (BERNAMA) – The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Labuan Zone arrested 14 people, nine of whom are Filipinos for fishing at the Kikeh oil rig, about 60 nautical miles northwest of Labuan, on Thursday.

In the 8.21pm incident, the suspects, aged 14 to 71 years, were aboard two fishing vessels and seven small boats were caught intruding into the oil rig area and fishing in the waters there when they were intercepted by the MMEA team who were conducting patrols under ‘Op Pelantar’.

Labuan Zone MMEA director, Commander Nor Bakari Abu Bakar said during the incident, MMEA personnel were monitoring the enforcement of the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) and patrolling the oil rig area.

“All the suspects, aged between 14 and 71 years, also comprised two locals and three permanent residents of Malaysia, five (Filipinos) have IMM13 refugee cards, while the rest do not have any personal identification documents, the fishing boats and the suspects have been taken to the Labuan Maritime Jetty for further action,” he said in a statement.

All those nabbed are being investigated under the Fisheries Act 1985, Immigration Act 1959/63, Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 and under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act 1959.

All the suspects had undergone COVID-19 screenings by Health Department officials, he added.