Malaysia detaines 14 Indonesians for allegedly fishing in its waters illegally

Malaysia has detained 14 Indonesians for allegedly fishing in its waters illegally, a news report said Friday. The men in three boats were caught on Thursday near the tourist island of Pangkor, off the coast of Lumut, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, navy commander Zaharuddin Maideen was quoted as saying by the national news agency Bernama.

The crew confessed to entering Malaysia illegally and the boats, which did not have registration numbers, were impounded, Zaharuddin was quoted as saying.

Navy officials at their Lumut base were not available for immediate comment. The fishermen could be charged with intrusion and fishing in Malaysian waters without permission.

Based on previous cases, the skippers could be fined up to 1 million ringgit (US$266,600; euro219,470), while crew members could face fines of up to 500,000 ringgit (US$133,300; euro109,735) each. Malaysian officials say illegal fishing costs Malaysia's fishing industry millions of ringgit (dollars; euros) in lost revenue each year, reports the AP. I.L.

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