23 Sep 2008: CHENNAI: The Indian Coast Guard apprehended a Sri Lankan fishing boat near the Andhra coast on Sunday night under the Maritime Zones of India Act 1981 for fishing inside the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone without licence or permit.
Sources said the Coast Guard ship, Sucheta Kripalani, escorted the Lankan boat, Leheru, bearing registration number 1 MULA-0088 and its six crew members to Chennai.
They were handed over to Kasimedu police station through the Commander of Coast Guard District Headquarters- 5 (Tamil Nadu) for further legal action.
Sources in the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission Office here said the crew members were from Trincomalee and had ventured into the sea about two weeks ago. They were in good health. They would be produced before the joint interrogation committee, headed by the District Collector, on Tuesday at the Chennai Collectorate.
The committee also comprised officials from the Coast Guard, the Fisheries Department, the Intelligence Bureau, ‘Q’ Branch and the police.
Fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh alleged that Sri Lankan fishermen often entered Indian waters in search of tuna, which had good export value.