Taiwanese boat detained in Myanmar released

Bangkok--A Pingtung-registered fishing boat detained in Myanmar for more than one month after reportedly being wrongly accused of illegal fishing was released Saturday.

Tsai Jui-hsien (???), captain of the vessel Shing Chuan Jyi (???), said in a telephone interview with CNA that the boat left Kawthaung port, where it had been detained since Jan. 25, at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to arrive at Phuket, Thailand on Monday.

He expressed appreciation for the assistance provided by Taiwan's government and the ship's agent.

Tsai said that he didn't know how much had been paid to secure the crew's and the ship's release and he counted it as a blessing that he and the nine other crewmembers are safe.

Reports have said that the crew and boat were seized without reason when it was sailing toward Kawthaung port, and that the vessel was released after a fine of US$10,000 was paid.

The captain denied fishing illegally, saying that he traveled hurriedly in the area because he wanted to enter the port and complete necessary procedures before a three-month agreement to fish in the economic territorial waters of Myanmar was set to expire soon.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel