SANDAKAN: The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) seized two foreign boats and detained 12 Vietnamese fishermen who had trespassed Malaysian waters to steal produce from the sea on Sunday.

Sandakan Maritime Zone deputy director of operations Mohd Khairulanuar Abd Majid said the fishermen aged between 23 to 48, were detained between 9.40am and 10.20am.

“The first boat was held at 12.6 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Billean Island, while the second was seized at 25 nautical miles northeast of Pulau Jambongan.

“Both the boats and the crew including their skippers were found to have no valid travel documents,“ he said in a statement here today.

Mohd Khairulanuar said that about 100 kg of sea cucumber were also found in the boat, believed to have been gathered from the nation’s waters.

Meanwhile, he said, there were two Vietnamese fishing boats which were seized earlier this month for illegally gathering the sea cucumbers.

“All the seized items including boats, equipment and sea cucumber were handed over for further investigations” he said, adding that the case would be investigated under the Immigration Act 1959/63 and the Fisheries Act 1985. — Bernama