Thu, Nov 16, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Fishermen missing, feared seized by Chinese crewmen

WHAT NEXT?The Ruifang Fishing Association has informed the Straits Exchange Foundation about the matter and is waiting for information

By Rich Chang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Two Taiwanese fishermen were feared to have been kidnapped by Chinese fishermen while at sea on Monday.

Captain Liao Sheng-chang (廖勝昶) and his son Liao Ting-lun (廖定綸) left a port near Ruifang Township (瑞芳) in Taipei County in a fishing boat with eight Chinese fishermen early on Monday morning, captain Liao's son Liao Chien-huei (廖建輝) said.

Liao Chien-huei told the press that the fishing crew planned to fish around Huaping Island (花瓶嶼), about 10 nautical miles from Taipei County, and return to port in the afternoon.

Because the fishing boat did not return home on time, Liao Chien-huei reported the matter to the Ruifang Fishing Association in the evening.

The association was informed by Chinese authorities on Tuesday that the fishing boat was found adrift around an island near Quanzhou, Fujian Province, with nobody aboard.

The fishing boat had been towed to a nearby port, the Chinese authorities told the association by telephone.

Liao Chien-huei said he had attempted to call his father and brother by cellphone, but failed to reach them.

He said among the eight Chinese workers, three were newcomers from Quanzhou.

Liao said he suspected his family members had been kidnapped by the Quanzhou crew or some group working in collusion with them.

In response to a question about motive, Liao said his family had treated the Chinese workers well, adding that there had been no disputes between the two parties. Liao departed for Fujian yesterday to investigate the incident.

Director of the Ruifang Fishing Association Lu Wan-ho (呂萬和) yesterday told reporters that the association has contacted the Straits Exchange Foundation and local fishery authorities to inquire after the Taiwanese fishermen's whereabouts.

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