A Chinese oil tanker and its crew were captured by Vietnamese border defense soldiers in the Gulf of Tonkin earlier this week for intruding into Vietnam’s maritime territory, the border defense command said.
The Command of Hai Phong Border Defense has announced that the unit had caught a Chinese oil tanker operating within Vietnamese waters in the gulf on Thursday.
One of the largest cities in Vietnam, Hai Phong is a municipality located on the northern coast.
According to the Hai Phong Border Defense, the unit detected Chinese vessel number 13056 violating Vietnam’s sovereignty at a location 12 nautical miles to the southwest of the Gulf of Tonkin’s maritime delimitation, which is within the administration of Vietnam’s offshore district of Bach Long Vi.
The First Flotilla under the Second Squadron of the Hai Phong Border Defense immediately set out on a chase and captured the violating vessel.
Hai Phong Border Defense officers are seen approaching the violating Chinese oil tanker in the Gulf of Tonkin on March 31, 2016. Photo: Hai Phong Border Defense
The oil tanker was captained by 38-year-old Tan Shuiyang from Guangdong, who led a crew of two other Chinese nationals.
Tan confessed to Vietnamese authorities that the tanker was carrying over 100,000 liters of diesel oil to refuel fishing vessels in the area.
The captain, however, failed to present relevant documents to prove the origin of the oil, while his two crew members had no operating license.
The violating tanker and all three seafarers were taken to the Bach Dang estuary on Friday evening for further investigation.
Hai Phong Border Defense officers inspect the violating Chinese oil tanker in the Gulf of Tonkin on March 31, 2016. Photo: Hai Phong Border Defense
Captain Tan Shuiyang (in blue) answers questions from the Hai Phong Border Defense aboard the violating Chinese oil tanker in the Gulf of Tonkin on March 31, 2016. Photo: Hai Phong Border Defense