Vietnamese fishermen were arrested by Malaysian police (Photo: Bernama.com)

Kuala Lumpur (VNA) – Vietnam’s Embassy in Malaysia said that it has taken protection measures towards 23 Vietnamese fishermen who were recently arrested by the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Pham Cao Phong said the measures aim to ensure these fishermen be safe and treated humanely in line with international and local laws.

According to the ambassador, immediately after Malaysian media reported that the MMEA arrested 23 Vietnamese fishermen and one fishing boat in Malaysia’s Kelantan waters, the embassy contacted the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the MMEA to verify the report and obtain detailed information about the arrested fishermen.

According to MMEA’s reply, the boat CM9699TS and 23 Vietnamese fishermen on board were arrested on June 16, 110 nautical miles from Kuala Tok Bali shore, Kelantan state, for breaching Article 15 of Malaysia’s 1985 fishing law.

The boat was detained under Article 47 of the law for investigation purposes.

The Embassy sent a diplomatic note to relevant Malaysian agencies, requesting a visit to the fishermen and asking local agencies to ensure their lives and humane treatment in line with international law and practices and local laws, as well as the release of fishermen as soon as possible.

The Embassy also reported the incident to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and asked relevant provincial People’s Committees to coordinate in verifying the identities of the fishermen.

Recently, the Malaysian government has boosted patrol campaigns to deal with foreign fishing boats and fishermen violating the country’s waters, including many Vietnamese boats and fishermen.

According to the embassy’s statistics, from the beginning of this year, 34 fishing boats and 323 fishermen from Vietnam have been arrested for breaching Malaysian waters, including 10 fishing boats from Binh Dinh province, four from Kien Giang, three from Ca Mau, three from Binh Thuan and three from Ba Ria-Vung Tau.-VNA