Malaysia arrests 28 Vietnamese for illegal fishing, one dies in detention

By VnExpress   April 4, 2017 | 07:05 pm PT
The fisherman was said to have fallen seriously ill when his boat was detained Monday.

Malaysian maritime authorities have arrested 28 Vietnamese for illegal fishing off the northeastern city of Miri, and one fisherman died while in detention, Malaysia's media reports said.

Tran Van Phuong, 55, was seriously ill while he and 27 Vietnamese fishermen were taken in Monday for fishing off the coastal city of Miri on Borneo Islands, the Star quoted a Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency official as saying.

Phuong died Tuesday after being rushed ashore for hospitalization, while another fisherman, 24, has also been sent to hospital with leg injuries, believed to be caused by a sting, the official said.

Police are investigating the cause of death.

Malaysian National News Agency Bernama said one ton of fish was confiscated from the two boats, which were registered as local cargo vessels but were used to catch fish.

Vietnam has a long coastline and seafood is its biggest cash earner among agricultural products for export, bringing in around $7 billion a year. Vietnamese fishermen have been repeatedly arrested for illegal fishing overseas in recent months. 

On Tuesday, Thai navy arrested 16 Vietnamese for illegally fishing in the Gulf of Thailand, said the Bangkok Post.

Many others have been arrested while in waters in Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Malaysia and Solomon Islands. The fishermen are often punished by fines and deportation, while their catch is confiscated.

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