Last Bahamian-registered cruise ship arrested for illegal anchoring in Johor waters
KOTA TINGGI: The Malaysian Maritime Control Agency (MMEA) has arrested 34 merchant vessels for illegal anchoring in the waters of Johor since the launch of Op Jangkar Haram on March 24.
First Admiral Nurul Hizam Zakaria, director of Johor MMEA, said 12 ships were arrested for illegally harboring off Johor for a 10-day period that began on April 8.
He said the last ship was a Bahamian-registered cruise liner that was spotted near here by an MMEA patrol unit around noon on Saturday, April 17.
Nurul Hizam added that no passengers were on board the cruise liner when it was found by the MMEA.
“The cruise ship was detected 14.5 nautical miles northeast of Tanjung Siang. It carried 63 crew members of various nationalities, including those from Malaysia, China, Croatia, Finland, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sweden and the United Kingdom, ”he said.
Nurul Hizam said the matter was being investigated under Section 491 (B) (1) (l) of the Merchant Marine Ordinance 1952 for illegal anchoring without a license from the Department of Marine.
He added that the agency has detained a total of 52 vessels of different brands and origins since January, including local vessels that had anchored without a license in the waters of Johor.
“Ship and boat operators are urged to obtain all necessary documents from local authorities before undertaking any boating activity or they can immediately leave Malaysian waters if they refuse to do so.
“We will not hesitate to take action against anyone who does not abide by the laws of the land in efforts to protect our seas,” he said.