The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) had on April 26 said it had detained four Vietnamese fishing vessels along with its crew members for allegedly fishing illegally in its waters and not possessing appropriate legal documents.
“Right after receiving the info, the foreign ministry instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia to contact local authorities and request humane treatment for the fishermen, while verifying relevant information and taking other steps to protect Vietnam’s citizens if needed,” Viet said at a press meet Thursday.
“The embassy also requested Malaysia to provide evidence related to the fishing vessels on the basis of which Vietnamese authorities can investigate the incident and punish any violations found,” he added.
The four vessels, with 32 crew members on board, were seen flying Malaysian flags, with one ship possessing both Vietnamese and Malaysian vessel numbers. The crew members allegedly had no legal personal documents or fishing licenses.
Malaysia said the Vietnamese fishing vessels were illegally fishing in Malaysian waters and that the incident was being investigated further.
Vietnam has consistent policies to protect its marine resources, Viet said, adding that its fishermen are always informed of and asked to abide by both Vietnamese and international laws.