18 Chinese fishing boats that sought shelter off Basilan, now gone

By , on December 11, 2014

Chinese vessel caught with poachers in Palawan. PNP-PIO photo
Chinese vessel caught with poachers in Palawan. PNP-PIO photo

MANILA — All of the 18 Chinese fishing boats, who earlier sought shelter off Basilan due to inclement weather caused by “Ruby”, have all left their temporary anchorage Wednesday morning.

Naval Task Group 61 head Capt. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo said the Chinese ships started leaving 9: 30 a.m. of Dec. 10

“We escorted them out until they reached the Sulu Sea (where) they turned north west to Mindoro Strait,” he added.

The 18 Chinese fishing vessels anchored off Muhammad Ajul town, Basilan Monday during the height of “Ruby”.

The ships were carrying an estimated 250 crewmembers.

Bacordo said the BRP Subanon (AT-291), a landing craft utility, members of Naval Special Operations Unit 6 and BA-487, one of the newly-acquired multi-purpose assault craft of the Navy, were immediately deployed to the area after receiving information from Joint Task Group Basilan.

An inter-agency team from Bureau of Immigrations, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Bureau of Quarantine and Bureau of Customs from Zamboanga City inspected the Chinse fishing vessels and the documents of the crews Monday afternoon.

No illegal cargo was found in the holds of the ships and all the papers of the 250 crewmembers were found to be in order.