Sedili Besar in Kota Tinggi District, Johor, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

Six Vietnamese fishermen including the captain of their vessel were arrested on Friday morning by Malaysian authorities for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing in Johor waters. An illicit catch worth 1 million ringgits (US$245,789) was reportedly seized during the operation.

At around 11:45am, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) observed and intercepted a Vietnamese vessel about 20 miles northeast of Sedili Besar in Kota Tinggi District, Nanyang Siang Pau (Malaysia) reported.

The operation resulted in the seizure of a catch of live sharks and prawns with an estimated value of 1 million ringgits. Six crew members aged between 29 and 41 were arrested for illegal fishing.

The authorities released the sharks back into the sea; the prawns will be auctioned off.

The offenders’ boat was towed to the Tanjung Sedili Maritime jetty to facilitate an investigation under the Fisheries Act 1985.