MMEA Malaysian Coast Guard cutter. Photo: iStock.

After launching a large-scale crackdown in Malaysian waters, authorities there have detained 123 Vietnamese fishermen and 25 vessels for alleged illegal fishing.

The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) conducted “OP Naga” from May 2 to 16, which involved patrols in the waters as well as in the airspace over Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan, VN Express reported. The operation led to checks on 266 vessels, of which 25 were seized.

On May 18, the Malaysian Home Ministry said the fishermen arrested were being investigated under the Fisheries Act for fishing without permission as well as entering the country without proper documentation.

The MMEA has stated that Op Naga will be continued to curb trespassing and illegal fishing.

From the beginning of last year, there have been at least 101 cases of Vietnamese vessels trespassing in neighboring countries’ waters. Between last year and late April this year, 163 vessels and 1,258 fishermen have been detained.

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