Two Vietnamese fishing boats were intercepted for illegal fishing off Calayan Island in Cagayan Saturday, the Philippine Coast Guard said Monday.
Ten foreign individuals, including the captains of both vessels, were arrested in a brief chase with a team from Coast Guard. Their identities were not disclosed.
According to Captain Armand Balilo, a Coast Guard team was conducting patrol operations near Calayan Island at around 1 a.m. when it spotted the Vietnamese vessels allegedly engaged in illegal fishing.
Onboard MCS 3010, the Coast Guard team approached the vessel with body number BO 96281 to accost it, but the latter immediately steered away to evade the authorities.
However, during the chase, the foreign vessel rammed into MCS 3010, but this did not keep authorities from successfully intercepting the Vietnamese fishing boat.
It was reported that the MCS 3010, a vessel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) operated by the Coast Guard, sustained damaged during the hot pursuit operation.
Two hours later, another Vietnamese fishing boat marked with a body number BO 95115 also attempted to evade the patrolling team but was unsuccessful.
Five crew members were arrested from the vessel, which was also allegedly conducting illegal fishing.
Coast Guard Commander Alejandro Arica, captain of MCS 3010, the apprehended crew and fishing boats were brought to the Sta Ana, Cagayan Port, where they were later turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries for investigation.