5 Indonesian fishermen caught in Australian waters sent home
The Jakarta Post
Australia has repatriated five Indonesian fishermen arrested last month for allegedly poaching in the Australian Fishing Zone.
The five fishermen are residents of Baubau in Southeast Sulawesi, while their vessel — the KM Hidup Bahagia — is owned by a resident of Kupang in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT).
The repatriation involved representatives of the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry and the Indonesian Consulate General in Darwin, said Muhammad Saleh Goro of the NTT Fisheries Agency on Tuesday.
"We have received notification [on the repatriation]," Muhammad told The Jakarta Post.
The five individuals were sent on two flights to Ngurah Rai Airport in Bali on Monday, from where they continued their trips to their home town of Baubau via Kendari, also in Southeast Sulawesi.
The five were apprehended by Australian authorities on Oct. 8 in the Australian Fishing Zone, about 190 nautical miles (352 kilometers) northwest of Darwin, on allegations of illegal fishing.
Australian authorities found about 200 kilograms of fish and hundreds of fishing hooks on the KM Hidup Bahagia.
"[The fishermen] were [finally] sent home, but the vessel was destroyed by the Australian government," Muhammad said. (ipa)
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