An illegal and unauthorized Chinese dredger type vessel was spotted at vicinity seven nautical miles southwest off Orion Point, Bataan at around 11:00 am on January 27, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said in an incident report.
Personnel for PCG Task Force Aduana and Bureau of Customs (BOC) were on patrol aboard BRP Panglao (FPB-2402) when the Chinese dredger was spotted.
“Upon boarding, the joint operatives discovered the automatic identification system (AIS) transponder of said vessel was turned off and its two Cambodian crewmembers aboard failed to present proper documents,” the PCG said.
“The BOC verified that said vessel was granted departure clearance by the Customs office in Aparri, Cagayan more than a year ago. Hence, its presence at said vicinity is illegal and unauthorized. The BOC is set to issue corresponding warrant of seizure and detention against subject vessel, the PCG added.
It can be recalled that on September 10, 2020, the PCG and BOC joined hands in enhancing cooperation on border control, anti-smuggling, and other customs fraud through the signing of a memorandum of agreement for the joint manning and operation of 20 newly-procured fast patrol boats of the BOC.
“PCG Commandant, Admiral George V Ursabia Jr and BOC Commissioner, Rey Leonardo B 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,” PCG said.