Fishing boat operators vow to cooperate over murders

national March 24, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

Songkhla fishing boat operators have offered to raise funds to pay Bt1 million in compensation to the families of an Indonesian marine and an Indonesian fisherman allegedly murdered on a Thai trawler in Indonesia waters last week.

Praporn Ek-uru, president of the Songkhla Fishery Association, said the group at its meeting yesterday also agreed to cooperate with the police investigation and let justice run its course while handing the fishing boat to Indonesian authorities. 
They also urged the Thai government to ask the Indonesian authorities to allow them to resume fishing in Indonesian waters because if the sea remained close to them for two more months the Thai fishing industry would be devastated. 
Pol Lt-Gen Jakthip Chaijinda, an aide to the national police chief and leader of the investigation team in this case, said police would summon the captain who was reportedly involved in the fishing boat murders last week.
Following a meeting of investigators, Jakthip said police had inspected three fishing boats impounded by Songkhla Marine Police and were convinced that the boat named KM Mutiara Mina-39 or Nattaya 7 might be involved in the case. 
He would call another meeting this morning to set the framework for their work and look up laws to ascertain whether the murders were within Thai police jurisdiction. 
Provincial Police Region 9 and Songkhla police were assigned to conduct the initial probe and the boat owner was cooperating well with them. Police have also identified the elusive boat captain and were looking for him. He remained a person of interest but it was not yet confirmed that he was the perpetrator. 
Police would speedily solve the case and provide clarity to the public because this case affected international ties, he said.