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Poachers accidentally flag their presence
August 9, 2007 / 2:05 PM / 10 years ago

Poachers accidentally flag their presence

<p>Malaysian army forces carry a giant "Stripes of Glory" national flag during the National Day celebrations in Putrajaya, near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 31, 2003. Vietnamese fishermen flying a Malaysian flag as a decoy while sailing in Malaysia's northeastern waters gave the game away by mistakenly flying it upside down. REUTERS/Bazuki Muhammad</p>

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Vietnamese fishermen flying a Malaysian flag as a decoy while sailing in Malaysia’s northeastern waters gave the game away by mistakenly flying it upside down.

This is an unusual mistake, because “Stripes of Glory” as the flag is known at home, carries a blue rectangle in its top left corner emblazoned with a yellow crescent and star, while red-and-white stripes alternate on the rest.

Local fishermen became suspicious, and tipped off fishing authorities, who detained 13 crewmen after seizing 500 kg (1,102 lb) of stingrays, valued at 6,000 ringgit ($1,737), along with a fake fishing license, the Star newspaper reported.

“We believe the fishermen were in our waters since Sunday,” it quoted Munir Mohamad Nawi, a fisheries official in the northeastern state of Terengganu, as saying.

The Vietnamese are expected to be charged with encroachment under the fisheries act, and face a maximum fine of 100,000 ringgit, or two years’ jail, or both, if convicted.

$1 =3.454 Malaysian Ringgit

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