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The Vietnam News

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Cambodia seize two Vietnamese fishing boats

PHNOM PENH - Cambodian authorities have for the first time seized Vietnamese fishing boats and their crew after they were caught fishing in Cambodian waters, a Cambodian navy official said on Saturday.
Two Vietnamese fishing boats and a total of 27 fishermen were seized near the Cambodian island of Koh Tang, 55 km (35 miles) southwest of the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville, the official told Reuters.

``This is the first time ever that we arrested Vietnamese fishermen who encroached to fish in Cambodian waters,'' said Chhum Savuth, the deputy chief of a naval task force responsible for protecting Cambodian waters from foreign fishermen.
Chhum Savuth said the two Vietnamese boats were seized in Cambodian waters. ``This is our area. They encroached two miles into our waters,'' he said.
Cambodia and Vietnam have overlapping claims in parts of the Gulf of Thailand.

He said negotiations were under way with Vietnamese officials for the return of the boats and their crew, seized on June 11. Cambodia often complains that Thai and Vietnamese fishing boats encroach into its waters and officials say the country's tiny navy is hard-pressed to stop the violations.

REUTERS - June 19, 1999