Sunday, July 21, 2019 - 04:59
-A A +A

Viet fishermen fined RM1.9m

 

Viet fishermen fined RM1.9m
Published on: Saturday, July 06, 2019
By: Jo Ann Mool

 

Kota Kinabalu: Fifty six Vietnamese fishermen were produced in the Sessions Court, here, in a single day in three separate cases highlighting a serious illegal fishing problem in waters off Sabah.

Two of the cases saw 24 of them being fined while 32 others claimed trial in the third. In the first case, 17 were fined a total of RM1,930,000 for illegal fishing in Malaysian waters.

The fishermen, aged between 19 and 53, who were in four groups, pleaded guilty before Judge Elsie Primus to committing the offence on board four separate foreign fishing vessels off Kudat, between May 9 and June 20 this year.

The first group comprised captain Phan Huu Nghi, crew Nguyen Van Den, Danh Minh Hai, Danh Quoc Binh and Danh Hua, who committed the offence seven nautical miles east of Sibongor Laut island, Banggi on May 9, at 9.17am.

Phan was fined RM250,000 or eight months jail while the crew were fined RM100,000 or six months jail each. The second group consisted of skipper Phan Minh Em, crew Le Thanh Toan, Nguyen Quoc Tuan and Phan Van Day who committed the offence at 8.40am on June 20, at 9.8 nautical miles east of Sibongor Laut island, Banggi Island. 

Phan was also fined RM250,000 or eight months jail while the crew were fined RM70,000 or six months jail each.

The third group were skipper Tran Thanh Dung, crew Tran Thanh Tan, Vo Hung Anh and Nguyen Van Vt who committed the offence at 9.10am on June 20 at 9.8 nautical miles east of Sibongor Laut island, Banggi Island.

Tran was fined RM200,000 or eight months jail while the crew were fined RM70,000 or six months jail each.

The fourth group consisted of skipper Phan Minh Chung, crew Nguyen Thanh Binh, Tran Truong Thanh and Ngo Van Hoa had committed the offence at 9.30am on June 20 at 10.4 nautical miles east of Sibongor Laut island, Banggi Island.

The four groups were charged under Section 15(1) of the Fisheries Act 1985 and punishable under Section 25(a) of the same Act and read together under Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for a fine of up to RM1 million for the vessel skipper, and RM100,000 for each crew of the vessel, on conviction.

The first group were represented by counsel Hamida Ambo while the rest were not represented.

The fishermen applied for lenient sentence on the grounds that they had learnt their lesson while under remand and being separated from their families and wanted to reunite with their respective family.

The claimed being the sole breadwinners and apologised to the court for their offence.

Deputy Public Prosecutor from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Wan Muhammad Fitri Wan Azizan applied for adequate sentence due to the seriousness and rampancy of the offence committed.

The court granted the prosecution’s application for all the seized fishing boats be forfeited. All 17 were also ordered be referred to the Immigration Department after paying the fine or serve the jail term.

In the second case, seven Vietnamese were fined a total of RM35,000 for having equipment to harvest sea cucumbers from the sea bed without a licence.

Nguyen Van Ca, Do Van Dinh, Nguyen Ngoc Sinh, Nguyen Van Duoc, Nguyen Van Hau, Nguyen Van Linh, Nguyen Thung Hieu, aged between 19 and 40, pleaded guilty to the offence on May 14, at 8.25am on board of a local fishing boat about 13 nautical miles northeast of Tigabu island, Pitas.

Elsie ordered each to pay a fine of RM5,000 or one month jail. She ordered them to serve the jail term effectively from Friday should they fail to pay the fine.

In meting out the sentence, Elsie held that the court still finding that the case was serious.

“If you want to fish, you must have proper permit to whatever equipment you are using even though a traditional equipment,” she said.

Counsel PJ Perira, representing the seven, applied for leniency saying they were all sole breadwinners and were each paid RM500 a month as a crew to the local boat.

Deputy Public Prosecutor from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Wan Muhammad Fitri Wan Azizan informed the court that the MMEA enforcement detained a local boat boarded by seven Vietnamese who hold seamen pass.

The seven where then arrested for having the equipment to harvest sea cucumbers from the sea bed without valid licence on board.

DPP Wan Muhammad applied for an adequate sentence be imposed.

The seven were charged under Section 11(3)(b) of the Fisheries Act 1985 and punishable under Section 25(b) of the Act, which carries a fine of up to RM20,000 or jail term of up to two years or both, on conviction.

Meanwhile, 32 others claimed trial to illegal fishing in Malaysian waters. The fishermen, aged between 20 and 50, who were divided in three groups, pleaded not guilty before Elsie to committing the offence on board three separate foreign fishing vessels at between 3.35pm and 4.35pm on May 21 this year at the waters of Papa station. 

They were charged under Section 15(1) of the Fisheries Act 1985 and punishable under Section 25(a) of the same Act and read together under Section 34 of the Penal Code, which provides for a fine of up to RM1 million for the vessel skipper, and RM100,000 for each crew of the vessel, on conviction

The first group consisted of Nguyen Van Minh, Nguyen Van Lau, Le VanQuan, Le Van Hoan, Pham Dinh Trang, Pham Vam Trung, Nguyen Van Thanh, Nguyen Van Nhan and Nguyen Duy Phuc.

They also charged with the second count of using unidentified foreign fishing vessels at the same place and time.

The charge Section 14(3)(b) of the Fisheries Act 1985 and punishable under Section 25(a) of the same Act which provides for a fine not exceeding one million ringgit each in the case of the owner or master, and one hundred thousand ringgit in the case of every member of the crew, on conviction.

The second group were Nguyen Van Bay, Truong Van Tho, Nguyen Van Mung, Nguyen Quoc Han, Nguyen Van Muoi, Le Tham Sat, Tran Nguoc Hai, Mai Van Minh, Tran Duoc, Truong Ngan, Bui Van Linh and Nguyen Van Vong.

While the third group were Huynh Van Oanh, Huynh Van Tien, Huynh Van Hoanh, Nguyen Van Son, Le Truong Bun, Pham Diem, Nguyen Van Duc, Bui Tam Giap, Le Van Phu, Bui Kim Anh and Huynh Van Khanh.

The court set Dec 2 and 3 for trial of the first group; fixed Nov 25 and Nov 26 for the second group and Nov 27 and 28 for the third group.

Deputy Public Prosecutor from the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) Wan Muhammad Fitri Wan Azizan prosecuted.

The Vietnamese were represented by counsel Hamida Ambo.

News date: 
Saturday, July 6, 2019
News source: 
http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/137409/viet-fishermen-fined-rm1-9m/