38 Vietnamese boatmen fined for fishing in restricted waters
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THIRTY-EIGHT Vietnamese men were each imposed a fine yesterday after pleading guilty over the charge of fishing at a restricted area in Brunei.
At the Magistrates’ Court, the captains of the two boats — 42-year-old Dang Thanh Phong and 29-year-old Truong Van Dien — were each imposed a $10,000 fine or serve 10 months in prison if fines are unpaid.
Meanwhile, their crew of 36 men were each imposed a $1,000 fine or two month in prison for fishing in Brunei’s Exclusive Economic Zone without permission.
The court yesterday ordered the men to pay the fines immediately.
On August 31 this year, the Royal Brunei Navy KDB Darussalam vessel sighted two foreign fishing vessels travelling suspiciously at a slow speed.
After an hour of surveillance, the KDB Darussalam deployed an investigation team to survey the boat and discovered that the vessel was submerging fishing net under the water as there were ropes that were tied tightly at the end of each vessel.
Upon discovering the presence of the investigation team, the vessels proceeded to switch off their lights and then increased their speed.
Officers on board the KDB Darussalam was later able to board both fishing vessels and found fishing equipment and fish onboard.
The boarding Royal Brunei Navy team also discovered a working GPS device and maps of the surrounding area on board the vessels. Both masters of the vessels were aware that their respective vessel had a working GPS system when KDB Darussalam boarded.
Dang Thanh admitted that the two fishing vessels would travel together and drop fishing nets in the water to fish.
The Brunei Times