Detained fisherman returns from Philippines
CNAKAOHSIUNG -- A Taiwanese fisherman who was held for eight days for allegedly poaching in Philippine territorial waters arrived back home in southern Taiwan's Pingtung county Thursday morning.
September 13, 2013, 12:06 am TWN
Tsai Po pulled into harbor some four hours behind schedule due to a malfunction in his global positioning system device that left him stranded until he was discovered by Taiwan's Coast Guard.
Friends and relatives came to receive the 53-year old, but declined to give media interviews, asking reporters instead to “wait until (Tsai) goes home and gets some rest.”
Tsai's wife, Shih Li-hua, offered her gratitude to the Coast Guard's inspection office in Hengchun Township for providing updates on Tsai's condition during his detention in the Philippines.
Tsai was arrested on Sept. 3 by Philippine authorities in waters some 40 meters off Ditarem, an islet in the northern Philippine island province of Batanes.
The fisherman said that he was not in the area to poach and had been brought there only because the engine of his motor-powered raft failed and he lost power.
Taiwan's Coast Guard's inspection office said that the Philippine immigration office went easy on Tsai by releasing him with an administrative fine but no further charges. The US$50,000 fine was reportedly covered by Raymond Wang, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines, and other staff from his office.
Tsai received humanitarian treatment during his detention, including a hospital visit to check on a foot injury, according to the inspection office. He was eventually allowed to navigate his raft back to Taiwan from the coastal town of Basco.