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Vietnamese fishermen caught in Cambodian waters

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Marine police patrol Koh Chhlam, near the Cambodia-Thailand border in March 2017. TEP CHAMROEUN VIA FACEBOOK

Vietnamese fishermen caught in Cambodian waters

Ten Vietnamese fishermen found inside Cambodian waters were charged by the Koh Kong provincial court on Sunday, following their arrest by marine police on Friday near the province’s Koh Chhlam island.

Koh Kong provincial court spokesman Un Sovan Theany told The Post on Monday that the 10 were detained by the court as soon as they were charged.

“The 10 suspects were charged by prosecutor accordance to Article 98 of the Laws on Fisheries. Now they are being detained at the provincial prison,” he said.

Prison and loss of property

If found guilty, the fishermen face three to five years in prison, while all evidence seized in the arrest – including a fishing boat, a bundle of oxygen hoses, an electric generator and other swimming equipment – will become state property.

Lang Kery, Koh Kong provincial Fishery Administration head, told The Post on Monday that the suspects told police they had travelled from Koh Tral (Phu Quoc) in Vietnam on December 25 to catch fish 50km away.

He said maritime police cooperated with Lamdam police under the National Committee for Maritime Security (NCMS) to patrol the area.

“My team found a Vietnamese fishing boat and arrested the suspects. They were found at the west side of Koh Chhlam island, near the Cambodia-Thailand border, as they did not want to fish near the coast. They were afraid that other fishermen might see them and report them to the police,” he said.

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