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Myanmar returns seized Polaris One fishing boat to Thailand

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Myanmar, which always appreciates bilateral relations with Thailand, handed over a Polaris One fishing boat of Thailand, which was captured for entering Myanmar waters, to Thailand authorities via the Myoma Bridge of Kawthoung Township on 21 September.
The vessel carrying 24 people—22 Thais and 2 Myanmar nationals— was seized by the Myanmar Navy in Myanmar waters at about 14 nautical miles of Roe Bank Island on 7 November 2020. They were transferred to a coordination unit on 13 November and they were also fined under Immigration Law and put at quarantine centres and dep- orted.
The group led by Lt-Col Zaw Min Htet, chairman of Thai-Myanmar Township Border Committee systematically handed over the Polaris One vessel and other materials to Thai officials led by Colonel Nop Phadon, Vice-Chair of Ranong Township Border Committee on 21 September.
“We returned the vessel and 80 fishing rigs. They were amazed that we saved things well. We respect the bilateral relationship and so we discuss not to capture the boats in Ranong and to coordinate with two border committees if the boats are seized in Parchan river. We do not take action against the Thai vessel according to the Myanmar Marine Fisheries Law to show the appreciation on bilateral relation,” said U Thant Zin, Head of Kawthoung District Fisheries Department.
Myanmar captured 1 Thai fishing boat in 2017 and two Indonesian fishing boats in 2018-19 in Myanmar waters of Kawthoung District and took legal actions. The country handed over the Thai vessel to show the solid bilateral relations. Moreover, Kawthoung and Ranong townships are supposed to be a border trade region for marine products. – Nyein Thu (MNA)/ GNLM

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