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Jakarta Post

RI, Vietnam vessels clash in Natuna

  • Fadli and Tama Salim

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Tue, May 23 2017   /  12:03 am

Only days after the Indonesian Military (TNI) staged a massive exercise in the the Natuna Island, Riau Islands, Vietnamese coast guards appear to have freed five Vietnamese-flagged boats that had been caught by Indonesian authorities for allegedly poaching in the area.

An Indonesian maritime patrol boat had reportedly intercepted the five boats and arrested 55 Vietnamese crew members.

But the Vietnamese regained the upper hand after an unexpected aggressive intervention by Vietnamese coast guards forced the Indonesian authorities to back off, release the arrested men and return to base empty handed.

Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti confirmed the intervention by the Vietnamese but refused to go into detail. “There will be a press conference, tomorrow [Tuesday],” she told The Jakarta Post.

The incident is being seen as a major test f...