Vietnamese police, military officials 'arrested' by fishermen

By Cuu Long   July 4, 2016 | 05:10 pm PT
Disputes over fishing areas between local fishermen and those from other locality is the main reasons for the rare "arrest".

Fishermen on a number of fishing boats of big capacity from Ha Tien Town on July 2 evening arrested five local border guards, one district military official, and two policemen in Kien Giang’s An Minh District, according to Kien Giang Border Guard.

The incident took place when the officials were on their way back from a patrol to check operations of the Ha Tien fishing boats in the waters of An Minh’s Van Khanh Tay Commune. Local authorities have accused the fishing boats from Ha Tien of operating "illegally" in Van Khanh Tay.

Two local fishermen who accompanied the military and police officials were also taken into custody

The 10 people were brought to Ha Tien, about 100 km away from Van Khanh Tay. As of July 3, all of them were released after Kien Giang authorities sent vessels to approach and persuade the fishermen to let the arrested officials go.

Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long

Photo by VnExpress/Cuu Long

Nguyen Van Tam, director of Kien Giang’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, told VnExpress disputes have recently risen between local fishermen and those who come from Ha Tien over the exploitation areas in the waters of Van Khanh Tay. “Some locals demarcate the exploitation areas into various lots and sell them to fishing boats of big capacity [coming from Ha Tien], which complicates the security in the waters,” Tam said, adding that local authorities are working to stabilize the situation.

The local government does not ban exploitation of seafood in the waters but limit capacity of fishing boats operating in certain areas.

Pham Trung Thanh, a spokesman from Kien Giang Police, said the provincial police has asked An Minh District Police to report the incident for further investigation.

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