Responding to a complaint from the Rayong Fishing Association, Region 1 navy headquarters dispatched a patrol plane to scout waters about 70 miles south of Koh Chuang June 27. The pilot spotted seven Vietnamese boats operating about 20-30 miles from each other. In response, the Navy dispatched the HTMS Su Pairin to intercept the craft.
On board one of the vessels, navy officers found this bucket of sea snakes that were captured for their venom.
By the time the patrol boat arrived, only two boats remained in the area. And as one was pulled alongside, a large wave capsized one fishing boat, sending eight Vietnamese tumbling into the sea. They were rescued without injury.
Navy officials brought the fishermen, their boats and equipment back to Sattahip where they were inspected. In the hold of the remaining boat investigators discovered a bucket full of sea snakes, which they later learned were to be use to make drugs. All the captives were processed for deportation.
Vice Adm. Chumpol Wongwaekhin said the Navy has received numerous complaints recently about Vietnamese boats violating Thai territorial waters to fish. However, since the boats generally operate far apart from each other, most are able to escape.