PCG, BOC find unauthorized Chinese dredger in Bataan; seizure, detention order to be issued

Published January 28, 2021, 3:06 PM

by Richa Noriega

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and Bureau of Customs (BOC) located an unauthorized Chinese dredger vessel in Orion Point, Bataan on Wednesday.

While conducting a maritime security patrol aboard BRP Panglao (FPB-2402), the PCG Task Force Aduana and BOC spotted an illegal Chinese dredger type vessel at the vicinity seven nautical miles southwest off Orion Point, Bataan around 11 a.m. yesterday.

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The joint operatives discovered the automatic identification system (AIS) transponder of the vessel was turned off, the PCG said in a statement.

The two Cambodian crewmembers aboard also failed to present proper documents, it added.

According to BOC, the vessel was granted departure clearance by the Customs office in Aparri, Cagayan more than a year ago.

“Hence, its presence in said vicinity is illegal and unauthorized. The BOC is set to issue a corresponding warrant of seizure and detention against the subject vessel,” the agency said.

Last September 2020, the PCG and BOC signed a memorandum of agreement for the joint manning and operation of the 20 newly-procured fast patrol boats of the BOC to enhance cooperation on border control, anti-smuggling, and other customs fraud.

PCG Commandant Admiral George Ursabia and BOC Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero agreed to work together for the performance of its shared mandate on border protection to uphold security, peace, and order within the maritime jurisdiction of the Philippines.