Brunei seizes 10 Vietnamese fishermen on trespassing charges

By VnExpress   March 17, 2017 | 03:09 am PT
Each crew member faces up to one year imprisonment or a hefty fine.

A Vietnamese fishing boat has been seized and 10 crew detained after the boat was allegedly found encroaching on Brunei's territorial waters.

Based on a statement released by the Royal Brunei Police Force, a Brunei navy ship intercepted the fishing boat on Thursday.

The 10 Vietnamese crew, aged between 18 and 50, were transferred to Brunei’s Marine Police for further investigation, said the statement.

According to local laws, if convicted, the captain of the Vietnamese boat will face up to five years' imprisonment with a maximum fine of 100,000 Brunei dollars ($71,271), while each crew member will face up to one year's imprisonment with a maximum fine of 2,500 Brunei dollars ($1,781).

Last September, Brunei authorities seized two Vietnamese fishing boats and charged 38 Vietnamese men for illegally fishing in Brunei's waters.

The captains of the two boats were each given the option of a 10,000 Brunei dollar ($7,000) fine or 10 months in prison. Their crew of 36 men also had to pay 1,000 Brunei dollars each or spend two months in prison. 

Hundreds of other Vietnamese fishermen have been arrested in recent years in the waters of neighboring countries, including Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, for similar allegations.

Related news:

> Indonesia frees 27 Vietnamese fishermen in first batch this year

> Malaysia detains more Vietnamese fishermen on illegal fishing charges

> Malaysia detains Vietnamese fishermen for straying into exclusive waters, again

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