2 Chinese ships flying inverted PH flags accosted off Batanes
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Coast Guard apprehended on Monday two Chinese fishing vessels flying an inverted Philippine flag in waters bound by Sabtang Island, Batanes in the north, Balintang Island in the west and Calayan Island.
Accosted were the F/V Shen Lia Cheng with 12 crew members and F/V She Kou with 13 crew members.
Authorities were conducting a seaborne patrol aboard BFAR patrol vessels MCS 3010 and MM Patrol Boat 3049 when they chanced upon the two vessels both observed to be flying an inverted Philippine flag.
Inspection of the documents showed that the vessels are registered with the People’s Republic of China and that they had no prior authorization to traverse Philippine waters.
The fishing vessels were escorted to Basco, Batanes for further investigation.
Undersecretary for Fisheries Atty. Asis G. Perez said the crew claimed they were just passing through but failed to provide documents for the right of safe passage./rga
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