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Philippines Seizes Vietnamese Fishing Boat

Philippine officials say they have seized a Vietnamese fishing boat in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

Maritime police say the ship and its 11 crew were found with a haul of dead sharks on March 26. The crew members have been charged with violating the fisheries code.

Vietnam says it is not clear if the ship was in Philippine territorial waters when it was taken.

"We do know yet whether the boat was taken away while it was fishing in the area that belongs to the Philippines or not. The ministry of foreign affairs and relevant agencies are working on the case."

This is not the first time Vietnamese boats have run into trouble with foreign security forces in the South China Sea. Hanoi recently asked Beijing to pay compensation for damages allegedly made by Chinese forces to Vietnamese fishing boats this year. Two incidents took place near the disputed Paracel islands.

China has overlapping territorial maritime claims with Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.
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