Thai police have promised a transparent investigation into a recent shooting against Vietnamese fishing boats that killed one fisherman and injured two others earlier this week.
Major General Apichart Suribunya, head of the foreign affairs department at Thailand Royal Police, said on Monday that Thai police will continue investigating the case until those found guilty are punished under the law, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
Vietnam last Thursday demanded Thailand investigate the shooting on September 11 after claims of “self-defense” from Thai marine police contrasted with Vietnamese fishers’ stories of “a hostile shooting” at their six boats.
Thai police said they opened fire on a Vietnamese fishing boat while trying to intercept another vessel in waters near Malaysia.
Their maritime police chief Grittapol Yeesakhorn told Reuters that they were protecting themselves when surrounded by “hostile Vietnamese vessels,” and that they only shot at the front of the boat, from 100 meters away.
Yet Vietnamese fishermen showed many bullet holes on the sides and cabin windows of their boats.
One member on the boat with the dead pilot said his was shot from 20 meters.
During the meeting on Monday, Pham Thanh Nam, Minister Councilor of the Vietnamese Embassy in Thailand, expressed his opposition, saying the use of force by Thai police violated international laws.
He demanded Thailand make sure that similar incidents will not happen.