SONGKHLA: A navy ship has intercepted and seized two Vietnamese boats seen dredging the ocean bed for sea cucumbers and arrested eight crew members for illegally fishing in Thai waters.
The boats were spotted by HTMS Khlong Yai at around 8.30am on Friday about 39 nautical miles from a safe water buoy off the coast of Songkhla , the 2nd Naval Area said on Saturday.
Each trawler had eight crew members. All were arrested and the trawlers seized.
During questioning, the crew members said they had left Ca Mau in Vietnam and had been in Thai waters for five days before being arrested.
Rear Adm Phichit Sriruangruang, deputy commander of the 2nd Naval Area, said three charges were pressed against the Vietnamese crewmen for illegally fishing in Thai waters and related offences.
This was the 12th time the 2nd Naval Area has arrested foreign fishing boats this fiscal year. A total of 18 trawlers have been intercepted and 86 crew members arrested, said Rear Adm Phichit.
Vietnamese crew members from the two intercepted trawlers are taken ashore at the Songkhla navy base. (Photo supplied)