KUANTAN – The Royal Malaysian Navy’s (RMN) Naval Region Command 1 (Mawilla 1) has foiled an attempt by a group of Vietnamese fishermen to loot British World War Two warships about 60 nautical miles from Tanjung Gelang, near here yesterday.
In a statement here today, Mawilla 1 stated that the fishermen were believed to be targetting two sunken ships, the HMS Repulse (pic-top) and HMS Prince Of Wales.
According to the statement, RMN’s success in foiling the attempt to steal the underwater treasures of the nation was the result of information received from the Pahang Fishermen’s Association which was relayed in a special programme last week.
“The foreign fishermen who were diving illegally in the waters about 60 nautical miles from Tanjung Gelang were apprehended at 6.45 a.m. by the KD Perkasa naval ship which was on its way home after completing the Malindo Jaya training.
“KD Perkasa detained a fishing boat which had been modified into a diving boat and its 17 Vietnamese crew including some who were still diving at the sea bed, believed to be looting a warship which was sunk during the second World War,” he said.
He said checks found that all the boat’s crew did not have valid identification papers except for the skipper.
All were brought to the Tanjung Gelang RMN base to be handed over to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) for further action.
“According to sources, the areas is the location of two British warships which were sunk during World War Two on December 10, 1941, the HMS Repulse and HMS Prince Of Wales,” it said.
The statement also said RMN’s success proved that its programme to go to the people especially the maritime community was effective and helped the operations of the Naval Region Command 1.
“The maritime community such as the fishermen, resort operators and island residents can be the eyes and ears of the security forces, specifically RMN.
“They can report any suspicious activity or anything which can jeopardise the security or economy of the nation,” it stated. – Bernama