SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union -- Police elements in Ilocos Norte are conducting thorough investigations on the abandoned cargo vessel discovered off Pagudpud town last January 1.

“We are conducting a thorough investigation on the incident to determine if laws were violated, and to file charges against the guilty persons, if necessary,” reported Ilocos Norte Police Provincial Director Benjamin M. Lusad to Police Regional Office 1 (PRO1) Director Constante Azares Jr.

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The presence of the vessel, M/V Namyang 8, was reported to the Pagudpud Police Station by concerned citizens from Barangay Balaoi.

In his report to Azares, Lusad said that they secured the vessel and coordinated with the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation (BID) office in Laoag City and with the Philippine Coastguard unit based in Currimao town.

Lusad said a multi-agency team was created to conduct the investigation. Included in the probing body were ten Korean nationals, who later turned out to be the crew members of the vessel. They arrived in the area from Cagayan province and boarded the ship for inspection purposes.

Accordingly, the inspecting team took samples of the alleged magnetite iron sand from the vessel’s cargo load and other paraphernalia or material found within the crew’s quarters, which were brought to the Ilocos Norte Crime Laboratory Office for laboratory examination.

The 10 crew members were brought to Pagudpud Police Station for temporary custody pending immigration investigation.

On January 3, they were transferred to the custody of BID Cagayan Valley Director Eva Antiporda.

The investigating team gathered that the “M/V Namyang 8” is owned by Oyang Marine Company, Ltd., registered under the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and allegedly bound for China from the port of Aparri in Cagayan.

“Our police personnel are still securing the marooned vessel while arrangements are underway for the shipping company to provide a tugboat to haul the damaged ship to a port for repair,” Lusad informed the regional director. (LCMY/Sunnex)