Skip to main content

Passport forgers and traffickers arrested in Rohingya case

Acting on a complaint from Australian officials, Thailand’s maritime police have seized a notorious, rogue, fishing vessel anchored off an island near Phuket that stands accused of poaching highly-regulated species of fish in Antarctic waters.
 
Maritime police seized the 625-ton Taishan on March 6. The vessel is believed to have changed its name, flag and registration number several times in recent years.  The ship is believed to have ties to a Spanish organized crime syndicate and was slapped with an Interpol Purple Notice in January for illegal fishing.
 
“These vessels have a lot to lose. They know they're operating illegally.  They often don't have any sort of fishing permit to operate,” said Sid Chakravarty of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.  “The only reason they do continue to come down is because there's millions of dollars to be made every season.”
 
The vessel had engaged in a standoff with the New Zealand Navy in Antarctic waters on January 14, and used evasive tactics to avoid boarding and capture.  The ship is wanted by law enforcement in both Australia and New Zealand.
 
Illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing is a major problem in the fishing industry.  Vessels engaged in IUU fishing rob nations of their maritime and food resource, damage the livelihoods of honest fishermen and wreak destruction on the environment.
 
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations says the term “illegal, unreported and unregulated” fishing – or IUU fishing – has emerged to describe a wide range of irresponsible activity.  Although over 100 countries signed a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in 1995, the high seas remain essentially lawless, and IUU fishing is rampant.
 
Maritime officials told the Associated Press news agency that the Taishan has been called the Kunlun, Black Moon, Galaxy and Dorita, among other names, and has been registered in North Korea, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Panama, Indonesia and Equatorial Guinea.
 
Officials in Phuket said 36 people on board the ship were arrested.  They include a Peruvian captain, four Spanish officers and 31 Indonesian crewmembers.
 
The Phuket News reported that 182 tons of refrigerated fish on board listed as grouper were in fact "snowfish", another name for toothfish, and the catch was destined for Vietnam.
 
Toothfish, while not endangered, are diminishing and their catch is highly regulated by international agreement. The fish, weighing up to 265 pounds, can each sell for thousands of dollars.
 
See the original article at: http://www.thaiembassydc.org/?p=2536

Share this article

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday