Border guards in the central province of Ha Tinh Sunday detained a ship they believe to be Mongolian for allegedly violating Vietnamese waters and smuggling diesel fuel into the country.
The M.TA1 was stopped and escorted to the province's Vung Ang seaport after a chase that lasted more than two hours.
According to Ha Tinh's border guards, their inspection boats found the ship entering the national waters without a flag designating its origin around 1 a.m. on Saturday.
Despite being signaled to stop for checks, the ship turned back to leave the waters, but was tracked down by a ship belonging to Vietnam's High Command of Border Guards.
Initial information was that the 3,800-ton ship is from Mongolia. It was carrying 14 allegedly Burmese crew members and a large amount of diesel fuel without clear origins when it was busted.
Its captain said the ship had set out from Kaohsiung, Taiwan and was transporting the fuel to Thanh Hoa and Ninh Thuan provinces for selling.
Vo Trong Hai, deputy chief of Ha Tinh's Border Guards' Headquarters, said the crew members told them that they had made such deliveries to Vietnam on several occasions.
However, local authorities are investigating to see if they had any purposes other than fuel smuggling when illegally entering Vietnamese waters, Hai said.
The authorities suspected that the crew members' documents had been faked, he stressed.
The case is being investigated.
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