Dead Vietnamese fishermen bore gunshot wounds
DAGUPAN CITY — The two Vietnamese fishermen which Navy personnel found dead on a fishing boat on Saturday (Sept. 23) bore gunshot wounds, according to a police report.
In a text message Sunday night, Senior Supt. Ronald Oliver Lee, Pangasinan police director, said six bullet holes were also found on the bow, portside and stern of the Vietnamese vessel.
But the report did not indicate who fired the shots.
The Vietnamese fishing boat was intercepted on Saturday, 32 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao at Bolinao town in Pangasinan province by a Navy patrol boat.
The bodies of Le Van Liem, 41, and Le Van Reo, 41, were found on the boat’s deck, according to Lee.
The boat’s other crew members: Pham To, 34, boat captain; Phan Lam, 34, Nguyen Thanh Chi, 49, Phan Van Liem, 41, and Nguyen Van Trong, 41, are detained at the Bolinao police station.
Lee said the boat was among six fishing vessels spotted poaching in the country’s territorial waters in the West Philippine Sea using “superlight.”
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources prohibits the use of superlight, which it said is a powerful device that uses halogen or metal halide that is submerged or installed above the sea surface.
Despite the Navy’s repeated calls for the fishing boat to surrender, Lee said the vessel’s crew ignored the calls and made dangerous maneuvers.
He said warning shots were fired by the pursuing Navy personnel but the fishing boat instead sped off.
At one point, the fishing boat veered towards its starboard, hitting the portside of the Navy ship, Lee said. But the foreign vessel finally stopped.
“As Navy personnel boarded the foreign vessel, they saw two dead bodies lying on its deck,” Lee said.
He said the Vietnamese crew told investigators that the bodies were taken from the fishing boat’s stockroom, which was situated at the bow of the vessel.
The Vietnamese vessel had been towed to the Sual wharf in Sual town.
Found inside the Vietnamese boat were five pieces of yellow fin tuna, weighing about 250 kilograms, a sack of dried squid, which were caught using superlight, and hook and lines.
Lee said no contraband or illegal items were found on the vessel.
Also found in the boat were deformed bullets and bullet jackets. /cbb
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