JAKARTA - The Indonesian Navy has seized two Thai boats carrying several tons of fish in Natuna waters on Sunday.
"The boats were caught by Navy corvette KRI Pattimura in the Natuna Sea during its patrol. The arrested boats were flying the Thai flag," said Navy spokesperson, Cdre. Mahanan Simorangkir.
The illegal boats are PSF 1812, owned by Malaysian company Keat Lean Fishery, and KM Cahaya Laut, a vessel owned by Indonesian company PT Mandra Guna Gema Sejati.
According to Manahan, during the raid, the Navy found five tons of assorted fish in the PSF 1812 vessel and another 10 tons in the KM Cahaya Laut. Some 80 crew members on the two boats were arrested, including PSF 1812 captain Kamporn Siris Sawas and Cahaya Laut captain Phitak Imthua.
"All crews and captains are Thai," Mahanan said.
The PSF 1812 was detained after the captain was unable to present the ship's fishing permits, while the KM Cahaya Laut's permits had expired.
Mahanan said the two boats were now at port in Tarempa, Anambas Islands regency, Riau Islands, awaiting further legal action.
Article 69 of Law No. 45/2009 on fisheries stipulates that vessels found guilty of involvement in illegal fishing would be, with sufficient evidence, sunk by maritime authorities.
Indonesia sank 33 of 38 foreign vessels found to be illegally fishing in its territorial waters between 2007 and 2012.