Two Vietnamese fishermen were sent to pre-trial detention by the Siem Reap court yesterday after they were arrested on Sunday morning for allegedly trying to steal back a boat seized by authorities, an official said.
Chan Tong, deputy head of the Fisheries Administration in Siem Reap, said yesterday that the two “were charged for stealing evidence, a motorboat, from the authorities on Sunday”.
He identified the suspects as Loeung Nou, 26, a Vietnamese citizen living in Chong Kneas village, and his neighbour Ngu-yen Yang Fong, 21.
According to Tong, 36 boats, 91 trawling nets and 11 fine-meshed nets totalling 55,000 metres were confiscated on Sunday during a joint illegal fishing crackdown operation in Chong Kneas by the fisheries officials, military police and the local fishing community. The evidence was impounded temporarily in Phnom Krom’s Fisheries Administration office.
Authorities are set to carry out similar crackdowns in three more villages today, Tong said.
Menh Bunly, a Fisheries Action Coalition Team program manager in the Tonle Sap area, welcomed the illegal fishing crackdown by authorities, but called for authorities to crack down on all illegal fishing, and not just on poor fishermen.