Jakarta. Indonesia on Friday (09/06) repatriated 695 fishermen of Vietnamese origins who were caught fishing illegally in Indonesian territory, its Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry said in a statement.
“The fishermen were caught during operations by the Indonesian navy and police to fight illegal fishing on Indonesian waters. They were held as witnesses, not suspects," Eko Djalma Asmadi, the director general of Maritime and Fisheries Monitoring Task Force (PSDKP), said in a statement.
Eko said the fishermen were kept in PSDKP bases in Pontianak, Natuna and Tanjung Pinang.
He said the ministry worked on an agreement with the Vietnamese Embassy in Jakarta to repatriate the fishermen once it was decided they were not going to be charged with a crime.
"We hope this serves as a lesson for the fishermen. They should be mindful of their own country's regulations and stay away from fishing illegally in Indonesian territory," Eko said.
The fishermen will be taken home by boats sent by the Vietnamese government to a PSDKP base in Batam in the Riau Islands.