ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Philippine military on Thursday announced the capture of a Vietnamese fishing boat illegally poaching off Tawi-Tawi province in southern Mindanao.
Army Lt. Gen. Corleto Vinluan Jr., chief of the Western Mindanao Command, said the fishing vessel was manned by seven crew when patrolling security forces spotted the boat on Tuesday.
“The Vietnamese vessel was caught while fishing illegally in Philippine territory,” he said.
Vinluan identified the skipper as Hunya Van Day and crew Cao Van Mih, Lam Tang Hung, Huyuh Tuan Anh, Huyuh Van Cuong, Nguyen Ngoc Hoa and Vo Van Taun.
“They were all subsequently brought to Turtle Island Municipal Police Station for documentation,” he said, adding that the Vietnamese boat had no pertinent papers or documents allowing them to fish in the Philippines.
The boat, according to Vinluan, is now impounded and all its crew are in the custody of the police in the Tawi-Tawi capital town of Bongao.
“The Philippine Navy and Philippine Marines intensify the conduct of maritime patrol to thwart illegal fishing activities in Philippine waters and protect the intruders from becoming victims of abduction and other sea crimes,” he said, referring to a spate of Abu Sayyaf ransom kidnappings in the area near the Sabah border over the past years.
Just recently, security forces killed five pro-Islamic State Abu Sayyaf terrorists and rescued four Indonesian fishermen kidnapped off Sabah last year.