Vietnam asks Australia to treat arrested fishermen humanely

By VnExpress International   April 1, 2016 | 06:16 pm GMT+7
Vietnam asks Australia to treat arrested fishermen humanely
One of the two Vietnamese fishing boats that were intercepted off Cape York at the weekend. : Department of Immigration and Border Protection/AAP

The Vietnamese Embassy in Australia has sent a diplomatic note to Australian authorities asking them to treat a group of arrested Vietnamese fishermen humanely, said Pham Thu Hang, deputy spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry

The group of Vietnamese fishermen was caught last Sunday and accused of illegally fishing sea cucumbers from the Great Barrier Reef marine park in far north Queensland, Australia.

Two boats carrying 29 crew members were stopped by the Australian Border Force that claimed to have found 30 drums full of sea cucumbers weighing hundreds of kilograms on board.

Australian authorities towed the two boast to Cairns where the crew members were handed over to Australian government officials for prosecution.

“The individuals will be transferred to immigration detention while that process is undertaken,” Sunshine Coast Daily quoted a Border Force spokesman as saying.

All 29 Vietnamese fishermen and their diving gear and fishing equipment are being held for further investigations, according to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority.