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Four Vietnamese fined RM150,000 for illegal fishing

7th September, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Four Vietnamese fishermen were poorer by RM150,000 for fishing illegally in the waters of Malaysia.

The skipper, Hyunh Van Hien, 47, received the highest fine of RM60,000 in default 12 months’ jail compared to his three crew members who were fined RM30,000 each in default seven months’ jail.

Sessions Court judge Ainul Shahrin Mohamad passed the sentence on the accused persons after they pleaded guilty to fishing without permission in Malaysian waters in Kudat at 9.30am on June 17.

The offence framed under Section 15 (1) of the Fisheries Act 1985 (Act 317) and punishable under Section 25 (a) of the same Act and read together under Section 34 of the Penal Code provides a maximum fine of RM1 million each in the case of the owner or shipmaster, and RM100,000 in the case of every member of the crew, upon conviction.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) from the Maritime Department, Nurun Nazifah Muhammad Iyen, there were supposed to be five accused to be brought before the court, however one of them was admitted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for appendix surgery.

In an unrelated case, the court fined another two fishermen for fish bombing.

The court handed down a fine of RM60,000 in default 12 months’ jail on skipper Kiong Asyali, 60, and RM30,000 fine or seven months’ jail to his crew Dusli Palmagi, 30, when they pleaded guilty to committing the offence at the southwest area of Mengalum Island at 6pm on May 17.

The charge is framed under Section 26(1)(a) of the Fisheries Act 1985, punishable under Section 25(a) of the same Act read with Section 34 of the same Code.

If the boat is a foreign-registered vessel or a person concerned is a foreign national, a fine not exceeding RM1,000,000 could be imposed on the owner or shipmaster and RM100,000 fine for each crew member.

According to the facts of the case tendered by DPP Nurun, some sample of the fish in Kiong’s boat were sent to the Fisheries Department, where further examination found that the fish were caught using an explosive method.

During mitigation, the unrepresented accused asked for leniency and to be deported as soon as possible since they have family members that need to be taken care of. However DPP Nurun asked for a deterrent sentence as the offence committed by the accused had caused a destruction to marine life. –NEDM

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