A total of three fishing boats and 14 crew members from Vietnam were detained by the Royal Thai Navy earlier this week in Thai waters.

On October 29, the Royal Thai Navy’s HTMS Khamronsin ordered the three boats to surrender after spotting them raking the seabed to get sea cucumbers, The Nation reported.

The incident happened about 39 nautical miles north of Losin Island. At 9 am the next day, the boats were forced back to the port of Navy Area 2 in Songkhla, southern Thailand.

The fishermen said they came from Ca Mau and Kien Giang, Vietnam, to catch sea cucumbers where they were spotted. The Vietnamese embassy was informed by the Thai navy that legal action would be taken against the trespassers before they were deported home.

According to Navy Area 2 officials, four Vietnamese fishing boats and 14 people were captured in the fiscal year of 2019 – which started this month. In 2018, 40 vessels and 216 crewmen were arrested for illegally fishing in Navy Area 2 alone.

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