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Taiwan fishing vessel hijacked to Indonesia: reports
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-06-19 08:09 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taiwanese fishing trawler might have been hijacked to Indonesia, reports said Thursday evening.

The Kuojung 333, registered in Tungkang, Pingtung County, was moving toward the Southeast Asian country but contact with its captain was impossible, according to media reports. Suspicions arose that the 99-ton ship’s Indonesian crew had taken control and was moving to its home country.

Similar incidents have happened before, as Taiwan’s fishing fleet often relies on crews from Indonesia, China and other Asian countries.

The ship’s owner, Lin Chin-hsi, reportedly made a call to captain Chen Chih-wen, but the latter failed to pick up the phone. Other ships had also tried to make contact but failed, the owner told Tungkang’s fishermen’s radio station.

Apart from the Taiwanese captain, the ship counted an Indonesian crew of 12, Lin said.

He had called for assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the Coast Guard. According to an investigation, the ship was way off course and was heading toward Indonesia at a relatively high speed of 9 knots, reports said.

The Kuojung 333 left Palau on June 12 with the Solomon Islands as its destination. No contact with the fishing vessel had been established for seven days, according to Lin.

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