Illustrative image (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has directed the Vietnam Embassy in Malaysia to work with Vietnamese and Malaysian competent agencies in handling the case related to Malaysia’s detaining of two fishing boats and 21 fishermen of Vietnam and carry out necessary citizen protection measures, said the ministry’s spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang.

Hang made the statement on July 4 while fielding reporters’ questions about the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA)’s arrest of the two fishing boats and fishermen from Kien Giang province on June 21 in the waters about 40 nautical miles away from the northern coast of Kuching, Sarawak state.

She cited the Vietnamese Embassy’s verified information as saying that first trial for the case is scheduled to take place on July 5.

Also according to the embassy, the MMEA captured 25 foreign fishing vessels, including 20 from Vietnam, off the coasts of Pahang, Terengganu, and Kelantan states during the first two weeks of May.

The embassy was directed to keep contact with Malaysian competent agencies to keep track of the case and to ask the Malaysian side to soon provide a list of detained Vietnamese fishermen.

The embassy was also requested to actively carry out necessary citizen protection measures and work with related Vietnamese localities to complete needed procedures for bringing the fishermen back home when Malaysia issues deportation orders.-VNA