Navy sinks 2 Thai trawlers

Navy sinks 2 Thai trawlers

The Indonesian navy has sunk two Thai fishing vessels after a court ruled on Dec 23 that the boats were illegally fishing in Indonesian waters, the Jakarta Post reported yesterday.

Navy special forces troops set off explosives on Sunday to sink the vessels in the Anambas waters near the South China Sea.

When he was asked to comment on the court order and sinkings, the Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman, Sek Wannamethee, said Thailand respected Indonesia's judicial procedures.

However, he would seek further details on the case.

He told the Bangkok Post that the two Thai trawler skippers were not members of the Thai Overseas Fisheries Association. 

The sunken boats were the MV Kour Son 77 and the KM G Chawat 5, according to the Jakarta Post. They were caught fishing illegally off Anambas island in Riau Islands province.

The 70-tonne MV Kour Son 77 was caught by the Indonesian navy on Nov 14 with six crew on board — two Thai, three from Myanmar and one from Laos.

The 103-tonne KM G. Chawat 5 was seized on Dec 11.

Neither boats had documents allowing them to operate in Indonesian waters.

"As instructed by the president, the navy has shown its strong commitment to sinking vessels involved in illegal fishing," Rear Admiral Widodo of the Indonesian navy was quoted as saying on Sunday.

He said the sinkings were in line with Indonesian law.

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