Indonesia releases 21 Vietnam fishermen held for trespassing

Indonesia allowed 21 Vietnamese fishermen it had detained for allegedly straying into its territorial waters to fly home Friday.

This is the second such repatriation by Indonesia this year after it returned 108 people last February.

The Vietnamese embassy in Indonesia said it were working with local agencies to repatriate a further 200 Vietnamese fishermen detained around the country.

Nine Vietnamese vessels with 57 fishermen on board were nabbed in Indonesian waters last month.

The boats, from Phuoc Tinh commune in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, 120km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, were reportedly detained by the Indonesian navy March 16 as they were illegally entering territorial waters.

The Ba Ria-Vung Tau administration has sent a note to the Indonesian consulate in HCM City seeking the release of these fishermen.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono ratified a law last month on the continental shelf boundary between Indonesia and Vietnam, which was passed by the House of Representatives in February.

The two countries reached agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf in 2003.

Source: TTXVN – Translated by Thu Thuy

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