Authorities in Indonesia have caught a group of 18 Cambodian crewmen fishing illegally in its waters and are in the process of sending them home, Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said Friday.
According to a ministry statement, their fishing boat was captured in July off the remote Indonesian island of Riau, and two of the 18 Cambodian fishermen will be staying in the country for some time longer to assist in the prosecution of the boat owner.
It said the crew had been on board for more than 20 days, were made to work 15-hour days on little food and had not received the 5,000 Thai baht, or $140, payment they had been promised.
Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry said the International Organization for Migration would buy airline tickets to return the fishermen, all in good health, to Cambodia.
“The owner of the boat said they were going to stay in Malaysian waters, but they went into Indonesian waters, so the Indonesians caught them,” he said on Thursday.