The Johor division of the Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) on Thursday (13 February) detained two unnamed Mongolian-flagged tankers under section 491B(L) and 361 (6) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for respectively allegedly anchoring in a non-anchorage area without permission and failing to produce insurance documents, it said.
In an MMEA official statement, Tanjung Sedili Zone MMEA director Maritime Captain Mohd Zulfadli Nayan noted the vessels were found anchored suspiciously close together 3.5 nautical miles south of Tanjung Penyusop on Tuesday at about 3.30pm.
Captain Zulfadli also noted one of the vessels was manned by 11 Indonesian crew aged between 25 to 54, and the second vessel had only 4 crew aged between 28 to 41.
Further investigations revealed an offence was allegedly committed under Section 49(3) of the Customs Act 1967 for sailing alongside one another.
Both vessels were also purported to have violated Section Section 72(2) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for not meeting the minimum number of crew as outlined in the Safe Manning Certificate.
According to Captain Zulfadli, if found guilty under section 491B(L) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, those convicted may face a fine of up to RM100,000 or a jail term of up to two years or both. If found guilty under section 361 (6) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, the convicted will face a fine of minimum RM 200,000 to RM 500,000.
Violation of Section 49(3) of the Customs Act 1967 carries a fine of RM100,000 or a jail term of up to five years or both. Lastly, those convicted under Section 72(2) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 may be fined up to RM 100,000.
Photo credit: Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency
Published: 14 February, 2020
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