Vietnamese fisherman killed and 12 crewmembers arrested
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) confirmed that a Vietnamese fisherman had been shot and killed during an altercation with an MMEA patrol vessel some 80 nm off the coast of Kelantan.
The crew of the patrol vessel intercepted two boats accused of engaging in illegal fishing on Sunday, according to the MMEA Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som. Around 2340 local time, the crew attempted to board and inspect them, but the fishermen on board responded by throwing objects. The boarding team replied with a warning shot.
“However, the warning shots were ignored and the Vietnamese even threw a Molotov cocktail and hard objects such as metal bars, large wood blocks and spanners at the MMEA boat, thus threatening the enforcement crew’s lives and government’s assets. The fishing boats then acted more aggressively by ramming into our boat, causing the MMEA crew to have no choice but to open fire in defending themselves and [MMEA] assets," MMEA Admiral Datuk Mohd Zubil Mat Som said in a statement.
Twelve additional Vietnamese crew members were arrested.
The agency's basic guidelines on the use of force have been observed, Adm. Som said, but the Agency will carry out an inquiry into the circumstances of the incident.
Maritime Business World