Prefectura, a branch of the Uruguayan Navy, and the Uruguayan Prosecutor's Office are investigating a Chinese-flagged fishing vessel captured last Monday by the National Navy in Uruguay’s waters after a persecution that began on Sunday.
Although in the first instance during the inspection the jigger had no fishing cargo, the Uruguayan authorities finally found 11 tons of squid inside the vessel.
However, the Public Prosecutor's Office pointed out that for the moment there is no criminal investigation in progress, but an administrative one is being carried out.
This investigation should determine if the squid found was fished in Uruguayan waters or not, and if the ship had any permit to fish there.
However, in the first instance, the vessel fled after receiving notice that they would be boarded for a visit and inspection, starting a chase that took all night Sunday and ended in the morning hours of Sunday, when they finally agreed to be boarded.
The news website Montevideo Portal reported, based on sources from the Navy, that there are 28 crew members currently detained on the vessel and the legal steps to be taken once the investigation is completed are being determined. The vessel is occupied by 14 Chinese crew members and 14 Indonesian workers.
According to the official report, from the Tactical Operations Center of the Fleet Command (COT), last Friday several vessels were detected that were allegedly fishing illegally in Uruguay's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Motivated by this alert, an aircraft of the Naval Aviation made a reconnaissance flight and detected two jiggers.
The vessel was 150 nautical miles southeast from Punta del Este (South-East).
From a visit, the inspectors confirmed that the crew members had objects for fishing.