A 61-year-old Vietnamese Chief Engineer found aboard the tanker Viet Tin 01 that was forcefully detained by Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) in December has on Thursday (18 June) been charged and fined MYR 50,000 (USD 11,700) for illegally anchoring the vessel at the Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) near Tanjung Stapa, Johor.
Manifold Times reported an earlier incident where Viet Tin 01 was sighted in North Korean waters in February, 2019.
In December 2019, MMEA discovered the tanker anchored at the TSS in a tropical storm and subsequently, they radio-ed the vessel to make contact.
When their calls were unanswered, the MMEA decided to forcefully board the vessel by helicopter to conduct investigations as they believed the vessel had been stolen.
The defendant was found guilty under section 491 B (1) (L) Law Shipping Trader 1952 for anchoring in an unauthorised area, and section 283 of the penal code (Act 574 ) which is causing an obstacle on a public cruise route.
The charge sentenced by Judge Zahilah binti Mohammad Yusoff at Kota Tinggi Sessions Court also carried a three-month jail term if the defendant fails to pay the fines within the stipulated time frame.
The defendant has since been transported to Kluang Prison to carry out his sentence and the vessel has been returned to its owner.
Photo credit: Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 19 June, 2020
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