PALAU DEPORTS 33 FISHERMEN TO PHILIPPINES

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Crewmembers fined for illegal fishing

KOROR, Palau (Palau Horizon,Aug. 2, 2010) – The 33 Filipino fishermen onboard the fishing vessel apprehended for illegal fishing in Palau waters were sent back home on Saturday, according to the Philippine Embassy (PE).

PE Consul-General Vicente Vicencio T. Bandillo, said the fishermen were sent back to the Philippines on July 24 after an out of the court settlement at the Attorney General’s Office.

He said they were fined $5,000 and confiscated their fishing gears including their caught fish.

Bandillo said the case was resolved immediately after the owner of the boat wrote a letter to the Ministry of Justice requesting not to impose huge fine as the captured vessel was only a family owned and not a company boat.

The 33 fishermen onboard on a big banca or outrigger from General Santos City were apprehended on June 22 by PSS President H.I Remeliik while the boat was on its maritime surveillance.

According to Lt. Thomas Tutii, OIC surveillance, Marine Law Enforcement, the fishermen were apprehended in the south west of Tobi Island.

However, according to Alexander Oliveros, captain of the boat, they have had engine problems and for five days they got lost until they reached the Palau waters.

The 33 fishermen were detained at the Division of Marine Law Enforcement Office while their case was being heard.

The Philippine vessel was the fourth fishing boats apprehended by the PSS President H.I. Remeliik this year.

The three vessels were also sailed back home after paying their fines. They were apprehended for fishing without a valid license permit.

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