Authorities in Thailand have detained 15 Indonesian fishermen after they allegedly strayed into its territorial waters, prompting a warning by maritime officials in the western province of Aceh.
Their fishing boat, the KM Harapan Baroe 01, sailed from Kuala Idi village in East Aceh to the Strait of Malacca before going off course, The Jakarta Post reported. The fishermen have been charged with committing unspecified violations in Thai waters.
“We received the information about the arrest on Friday,” Aceh deputy sea commander Miftachhuddin Cut Adek said. “We hope the Indonesian embassy can contact the Thai authorities to get the latest updates on the condition of the arrested fishermen.”
Miftachhuddi said he believed the boat had probably drifted away from its course due strong sea currents, ending up in Thai waters. There has been no confirmation from Thailand of the arrests.
At least 38 fishermen from East Aceh have been arrested in countries near Indonesia already this year, including 23 who were detained by Myanmar on February 6. The Aceh Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Agency warned fishermen from the province to exercise more caution.