GOVERNMENT authorities have recently intercepted a Filipino-owned fishing vessel with eight Vietnamese crew aboard, off Turtle Islands town in the province of Tawi-Tawi, officials said Tuesday, April 7.
Mayor Mohd Faizal Jamalul of Turtle Islands said the fishing vessel, F/B Amina owned by Al-Amin Ismael, was intercepted at 9 a.m. Friday between the islands of Taganak and Boaan Island.
Jamalul said his team composed of policemen and municipal employees was heading to Boaan Island to distribute relief goods when they spotted the vessel.
He identified the arrested Vietnamese as Tran Van Phuc, Nguyen Thanh Doan, Nguyen Thanh Tung, Tran Thanh Luy, Thach Trong, Nguyen Trung Hieu, Nguyen Tan Luc, and Nguyen Van Kham.
He said the Vietnamese were under investigation while the vessel was temporarily held near the Taganak shoreline.
The Turtle Islands municipality is located within the Sulu Sea at the south-western tip of the country, at the edge of the international treaty limits separating the Philippines and Malaysia.
Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command (Westmincom), spearheaded Monday an inter-agency meeting to address the matter concerning the apprehension of Vietnamese working as vessel crews of a Philippine-registered fishing boat.
“We are consolidating all necessary documents for the filing of appropriate charges against the apprehended personalities,” Sobejana said.
“Convergence and lateral coordination are very vital to ensure security posture and address challenges in our maritime domain.” he added. (SunStar Zamboanga)