Thailand’s navy captured three Vietnamese fishing boats off Songkhla this morning. A commander admiral from the navy said a total of 15 people were arrested and charged for illegally fishing in Thai territorial waters without fishing licenses, using unregistered boats, and being immigrants working in Thailand without a work permit. The boat skippers were charged with directing fishing without skippers’ licenses.
The fishers arrested reportedly said that they had travelled from southern Vietnam and had raked the sea bed for sea cucumbers for five days before they were arrested. The navy took the boats to the Songklha Naval Base port, and tested the 15 arrested for Covid-19 before they pressed charges.
The commander admiral said this is the sixth instance this year of foreign illegal fishing boats being seized in Thailand. He said in all the instances combined, the navy has seized nine foreign illegal fishing boats, with a total of 42 crew members.
Last week, the navy seized another Vietnamese fishing boat off Koh Kra in the Gulf of Thailand. The navy arrested five people. The navy first tried firing warning shots at three ships, but the ships ignored the warning and fled. The navy confiscated the ship, and tested the five people for Covid-19. All tested negative.
In 2015, a clash between Thai maritime police and Vietnamese fishermen lead to the police shooting and killing one fishermen. The police claimed they were acting in self-defense.
SOURCE: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post
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