The Jakarta Post
The West Papua Police blew up Vietnamese vessel KM Thanh Cong, seized by the police's water police unit (Polair) for alleged illegal fishing on Jan. 19, in the waters near Saonek Monde Island in Raja Ampat regency, West Papua, on 11:15 a.m. local time on Tuesday.
Eight personnel of the Mobile Brigade's (Brimob) Detachment C based in Sorong, Papua, blew up the vessel using explosives in a procession led by West Papua Police chief Brig. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw. The team exploded the bombs with a remote control from a location at a distance of 200 meters from the blasting site.
Raja Ampat regent Marcus Wanma witnessed the blasting procession from the deck of machine vessel KM Bahari Express, which dropped anchor around 500 meters from the Vietnamese vessel. Hundreds of Raja Ampat residents also witnessed the first ever explosion of foreign-flagged vessels in the regency from small boats parked not far from the blasting site.
Two thundering blasts followed by flames were heard before the Vietnamese fishing vessel weighing 55 gross tons sank to the bottom of the waters in only 10 minutes.
The destruction of the foreign vessel that committed illegal fishing in Raja Ampat was the first for the provinces of Papua and West Papua or the second in eastern Indonesia after the Indonesia Navy exploded two Papua New Guinean vessels seized for alleged illegal fishing in Ambon, Maluku, on Dec. 24, 2014.
'The destroying of the vessel is proof that we, who are on guard in northern areas of the eastern most Indonesian province, remain consistent in carrying out a synergistic effort to handle law violations in our waters and coastal areas,' said Waterpauw.
'This will hopefully bring a deterrent effect for anyone who intends to illegally fish in this area,' he said. (ebf)(+++)
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