Taiwanese fishing boat crew held hostage in Indian Ocean

The China Post news staff

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Pirates reportedly held a Taiwan fishing boat crew hostage late Wednesday night in the Indian Ocean 300 nautical miles east of Madagascar, according to local media reports. There were 14 people aboard the boat “Feng Guo No. 168,” which took off from the Donggang coast of Pingtung County, including one Taiwanese, three mainland Chinese, two Indonesians and eight Vietnamese.

According to China Maritime Search and Rescue Center (CMSRC), which first received news of the hostage situation, the pirates used satellite phones to demand a ransom, although details of the terms were unclear. The CMSRC immediately contacted its Taiwanese search and rescue counterpart. The case has been reported to the Donggang authorities, which is currently seeking help from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). The “Feng Guo No. 168,” since departing on October 1 from Mauritius, had been in contact with fellow Taiwanese fishing boat “Feng Guo No. 668.” However, by the fifth day, the Donggang Township-based boat could not be contacted. On Oct. 6, the captain of the “Feng Guo No. 668” called the Donggang Fishing Port to report the case. The “Feng Guo No. 168” remains in the Indian Ocean pending rescue and negotiation by diplomatic parties.