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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 7) – An Indonesian vessel and its 10-men crew were apprehended within Palau’s territorial waters, southeast of Helen Reef on May 22.

Lt. Allen Maldengsang of the Marine Law Enforcement Division said the vessel was spotted at around 8:30 p.m. while its crewmembers were fishing.

Maldengsang, executive officer of the government patrol boat PSS Remeliik, said they found tuna on the boat and asked the crew to return to the sea the sharks still attached to fishing gear.

The vessel, Balinusa, is now berthed near the Marine Law Enforcement Division’s dock and its crewmembers have been detained by the Ministry of Justice.

Maldengsang said charges of illegal fishing and illegal entry have already been filed against the owner of the vessel.

He said initial investigation showed that the vessel does not have a license to fish in Palau.

June 7, 2006

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