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Envoy seeks Thai access to Indonesian waters

THAI AMBASSADOR to Indonesia Paskorn Siriyaphan was coordinating with authorities in that country to reopen its waters to Thai trawlers.

Jakarta has requested a speedy inquiry into the murders of two Indonesian marines by Thai fishermen in Indonesian seas early this month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said yesterday.

The ministry was closely following the probe. Thai police have already interrogated two crew members, he said.

Indonesia reportedly banned Thai fishing boats pending the arrest of the culprits, prompting the Songkhla Fishery Association to call for a resumption of fishing rights, as the Thai fishery industry was losing millions of baht a day.

National police spokesman Piya Uthayo said police were waiting for the Indonesian Embassy to file an official complaint through the Foreign Ministry.

Thai police were authorised to handle the case since the crime took place on a Thai trawler.

Provincial Police Region 9 was gathering evidence within three days and had so far found that 10 of the 12 crew were involved, but the motive remained unknown.

The investigating team would meet again today, he added.

A source among Thai fishing operators claimed that to trawl in Indonesian territory, they had to pay thousands of baht in bribes every month.


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