Dutch freighter caught in MMEA net, detained off Penang. Why?

Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) caught a new prey, Dutch freighter ANET, which had been careless enough to anchor 22 nm SSW of Pulau Kendi, a small islet off Penang island south. The ship anchored in the morning Jan 8, being en route from Colombo to Singapore, ETA Jan 14, so probably, ANET anchored for the purpose of fitting into arrival schedule. She was detained on Jan 10, and taken to Penang Anchorage, on the same accusation of unauthorized anchorage. Company is to be fined. These regular detentions are kind of a puzzle. The ship anchored 22 nm off nearest Malaysian land, outside 12-mile zone. What’s wrong with that? Why should the ship be detained and fined, on what grounds? Is it purely monetary act, on the part of Malaysia, a regular source of State budget income, or is it MMEA initiative, as a pathway to promotions and accolades?
Are all the ships transiting in or near Malaysian waters notified, that anchorage near Malaysian coast without proper formalities is a crime, and is a safe distance from Malaysia somehow outlined and determined? It’s definitely not 12-mile territorial waters zone, it’s something else, some other distance.
General cargo ship ANET, IMO 9456733, dwt 12080, built 2010, flag Netherlands, manager WAGENBORG.





My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.