Indonesia seizes Chinese fishing ship, arrests 21 crew members
The Jakarta Post
The Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry has seized Fu Yuan Yu 831, a Chinese fishing ship, and arrested its 21 crew members, who were allegedly found fishing illegally over Indonesia's eastern waters.
On board the ship were six flags of different countries suspected to have been used by the crew to deceive patrol officers.
“When we seized the ship, the crew erected the Timor-Leste flag, but when the officers checked the ships, there were five other flags,” said Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti during a press conference in Jakarta on Monday as reported by kompas.co.id.
The other flags found on board were those of China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore.
The 21 crew members comprised nine Chinese, six Indonesians, three Myanmarese and three Vietnamese, said Susi, adding that it was suspected that the ship operated over Indonesian waters since August.
Local authorities also seized 35 tons of fish, including tiger sharks, a protected species, she added. “We have taken the ship to Kupang Port [in East Nusa Tenggara] for further investigation,” she said.
Previously, Timor-Leste maritime officials arrested 15 different Fu Yuan Yu ships.
The governments of Indonesia and Timor-Leste are coordinating to jointly investigate the incident. (bbn)
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