Hundreds of Thai trawlers keep ashore as Indonesia closes its waters


SONGKHLA, March 25 — Some 500 Thai trawlers from the country’s central and southern regions kept ashore today as Indonesia closed its waters to Thai vessels in response to the death of two Indonesian navy personnel were reportedly killed by crew of Thai fishing boat.

The Thai National Police Bureau has coordinated with Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok on the allegation and informed the latest development of the case to Indonesian authorities to show Thailand’s serious effort in solving the case.

The Provincial Police Region 9 Deputy Commissioner Pol Maj Gen Chawalit Sawaengpuet led the investigation team and said that the investigation was almost completed and that questioning the suspects is progressing.

Police could identify seven of the 12-man crew and has questioned two of then. The police were seeking the other 10 crew for questioning.

Meanwhile, the Thai authorities were holding talks with Indonesian authorities on reopening Indonesia’s waters for Thai trawlers.

Lack of access to Indonesian waters would affect the price of seafood and related industries would eventually be impacted.

Meanwhile, Royal Thai Police spokesman Pol Maj Gen Piya Uthayo said that police are investigating the incident that reportedly occurred on March 9.

According to the report, he said, the Thai crew killed two Indonesian navy personnel before returning to Thailand at Songkhla on March 14.

He said Pol Lt Gen Jakthip Chaijinda, Assistance to National Police chief was assigned to supervised the investigation.

Gen Piya said that while waiting for the Indonesian Embassy in Thailand to formally file a complaint to the Thai government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Provincial Police Region 9 was ordered to complete information gathering within three days.

According to the initial investigation, he said, the captain and 11 crew members were aboard the fishing boat and that 10 men were involved with the case.

More time is needed to investigate the nationality of the crew and the motive behind the case.