Russian border guards confirm arrest of Japanese schooner
28.01.2009 Russian border guards on Tuesday seized the Japanese Esi Mary-38 with a cargo of frozen crab, the Interfax news agency reported, citing sources in the Primorye branch of the Border Service of the Russian Federal Security Services.
The schooner, sailing under the Japanese flag, was stopped for a routine check in Russia’s exclusive economic zone. The captain of the boat was reportedly unable to provide proof that the cargo had a legal origin, according to the press service of the Border Service.
The schooner was seized and is now being escorted to shore, presumably to the port of Nakhodka, for further investigation.
The fishing boat had 10 people on board, the Associated Press reported earlier. An anonymous source in the Japanese Coast Guard Services said that the exact location of the schooner at the moment of its seizure was not established, but he added that the boat could well have strayed into Russian territorial waters. The Japanese Foreign Ministry has asked its Russian counterpart for details relating to the incident.