A Vietnamese fishing boat seized by Chinese patrol forces early this month has been released, Sai Gon Tiep Thi newspaper reported.
Nguyen Ngoc Hieu, chairman of Bao Ninh Commune People's Committee, Quang Binh Province, said the boat carrying five local fishermen returned home Thursday, August 25.
The fishermen are reported to be in good health, but all fishing equipment on the boat was confiscated by Chinese forces.
The boat, owned by Nguyen Van Thanh, was seized by officers on a Chinese fishing patrol boat off the Tonkin Gulf, some 35 nautical miles from China's Hainan Island, on August 8.
Nguyen Thi Hang, Thanh's wife, later received a phone call from China saying she must pay US$6,250 to have her husband and the boat back.
After she reported to local authorities, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department sent a note to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, asking Chinese authorities to intervene.