Fri, 04 Jul 2003

Five Philippine vessels seized

JAKARTA: Five Philippine vessels have been seized and some 30 crew members arrested by officers of the Eastern Indonesia Naval Fleet Command off North Sulawesi for illegal fishing, the Indonesian Navy said in a statement on Thursday.

The five vessels -- the Elnino, Treanity TS-858 and three motor boats -- were loaded with fish when they were detained by the Navy last weekend.

All the vessels and crew members are now being detained at the Navy's North Sulawesi base in Bitung pending prosecution.

Separately, a Navy helicopter detected the location of the Harapan Express ferry which sank on Wednesday in the Malinau river in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, on its way from Tarakan in East Kalimantan to Banjarmasin in South Kalimantan.

A Search and Rescue team reported that five passengers were found dead, 17 others were rescued and nine others were still missing.--JP