After Long Delay, Indonesia Repatriates 200 Vietnamese Held for Illegal Fishing

Indonesia this week repatriated 200 Vietnamese fishermen who languished at immigration detention centers for months amid the coronavirus pandemic after local authorities confiscated their boats on suspicion of poaching in Indonesian waters, officials said Wednesday.

Another 216 fishermen from Vietnam will be sent home in October, according to a senior official at Indonesia’s Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

The first batch of 200 was flown home when Hanoi sent a chartered plane to pick them up from Batam Island, where they were staying, said Adin Nurawaludin, director general of marine and fisheries resources monitoring at the ministry.

“As many as 200 people have been repatriated via Hang Nadim Airport, Batam on Monday on a Bamboo Airways … flight to Quang Ninh, Vietnam,” Adin told reporters in Jakarta.

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Reported by BenarNews, an RFA-affiliated online news service.