FSM revokes parole for “Blue Boat” operator – fined $118,000 and jailed for 624 days

blue boat
By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 4, 2016
Palikir, Pohnpei—The FSM Supreme Court today revoked parole for Nguyen Van Dang, the Captain and Owner of Vessel QNG 96345 a Vietnamese “Blue Boat” caught and re-arrested in June of this year in Chuuk waters while harvesting sea cucumbers.
Over a year previous, Dang was one of several arrested for entering the FSM illegally. At that time, the court handed down a sentence of two years in jail and $118,000 fine for his various crimes which included entering the country illegally, transporting people to the FSM illegally and illegal fishing. Based on a promise that Dang would not return to the FSM, the court paroled him and allowed him to leave the country. In June of this year, he and the crew members and captains of three “blue boats” were arrested for the same types of violation. The trial for that violation has not yet begun.
For violation of his parole, Dang was sentenced to 624 days imprisonment, taking into account his time served, and $118,000 in aggregate fines.
The trial for this year’s alleged violation has not yet begun. Dang faces similar jail time and fines if he is convicted.
The so called Vietnamese “Blue Boats” have been a problem for countries throughout the Asia Pacific region. Painted blue, they are difficult to spot from the air or from the sea. They carry no tracking electronics as legal vessels are required to do. The vessels are ridiculously inexpensive and can pay for themselves with one lucrative fishing trip. Confiscation or burning the vessels has not served as a deterrent for the operators of the vessels who continue to plunder the waters of the Asia Pacific region. Operators simply buy another inexpensive vessel and get right back to business.
Dang was one of six men who were arrested and charged a year ago and who returned to the FSM illegally this year.