By Channel News Asia, The Straits Times, The Sydney Morning Herald
30 May 2016
Indonesian Armed Forces on Sunday (May 29) stated in a press release that the Indonesian frigate Oswald Siahaan 354 detected and intercepted the Chinese vessel Gui Bei Yu while it was patrolling the waters.
The Chinese trawler was fishing illegally in the country’s “exclusive economic zone”, the navy’s Western Fleet Command spokesman, Major Budi Amin, told The Straits Times.
“We strongly suspect they were poaching fish in our territory because we found fresh fish on the boat,” he said, adding that the type of fish caught is identical to those found in the waters there.
“The boat engine was faulty so we had to tow the boat to a port in Natuna. We also arrested eight Chinese crew to question their activities,” he said. Investigations are ongoing, he added.
Local media reports quoted Major Josdy Damopoli, a military spokesman for the Fourth Naval Base in Tanjung Pinang, Riau islands province, as saying that the Chinese coastguard stood by as Indonesian officials boarded the fishing vessel to apprehend its crew.
The Indonesian military said in the statement that last Friday’s arrest was a “success in following up the orders of military chief General Gatot Nurmantyo in increasing surveillance at all borders, including the South China Sea”.
The arrest also served to “warn the world” that Indonesia would take “firm action” against vessels that breach its laws, it added.
The latest report from The Sydney Morning Herald said the Indonesia frigate fired shots which hit the stern of the fishing vessel, Gui Bei Yu-27088, after it ignored repeated warnings to stop. No one was injured, according to Indonesia’s navy western fleet command spokesman Major Budi Amin.
He said Indonesia followed standard international procedures in dealing with foreign ships entering its territory, including providing warnings with flags, voices and warning shots.
Read more of the Straits Times report: http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/indonesia-detains-chinese-fishing-trawler-in-natuna
the Channel NewsAsia report: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asiapacific/indonesia-detains-yet/2827122.html
and the Sydney Morning Herald report: http://www.smh.com.au/world/south-china-sea-indonesian-navy-fires-shots-seizes-chinese-fishing-boat-20160531-gp7s45.html#ixzz4AE2JyWVh