JAKARTA: The Indonesian navy arrested two Malaysian-flagged vessels that were allegedly fishing illegally in Indonesian waters in the Strait of Malacca on Sunday.
Spokesman for the Indonesian naval base (Lantamal) I in Belawan, North Sumatra, Maj. Sahala Sinaga, said 10 Myanmarese crew members had been detained.
“[As of Sunday], 10 Myanmarese are undergoing investigation in Belawan,” Sahala told The Jakarta Post.
Sahala said a Indonesian navy patrol boat approached the two vessels – KHF 1785 and FKPB 1781 — in different locations when they reportedly entered Indonesian waters. He added that the vessels had been caught using trawls.
“Both vessels were caught when fishing near Aceh Tamiang,” said Sahala, adding that the vessels were caught by the Western Fleet Quick Response Team of Lantamal I Belawan.
The vessels tried to flee when the Indonesian navy patrol boat approached them, according to Sahala. Both ships were pursued by after two warning shots were fired.
Besides arresting the 10 crew members, the navy also found a bong on board one of the vessels. Sahala suspected that the crew members also carried drugs that were thrown into the sea before Navy personnel boarded it.
“We suspect the drugs were thrown into the water, considering that the route they were using is a known entry point for drug smuggling,” said Sahala. – The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network