A Chinese vessel that entered Cebu waters last week was cleared of poaching allegations but its crew will have to pay penalties for entering Philippine waters without notice, the Philippine Coast Guard said Tuesday.
The Coast Guard had intercepted 19,988-gross ton, Hong Kong-registered MV Ming Yuan around 6 a.m. last June 16, about 11 nautical miles off Malapascua Island in Cebu.
An inspection by the Port State Control and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Cebu cleared the MV Ming Yuan of allegations it was taking pebbles and sand from Malapascua Island.
"While anchored between Malapascua and Carnaza Island in Daan Bantayan, Cebu, a joint boarding team composed of members from the Bureau of Customs, Bureau of Immigration, Bureau of Quarantine, Coast Guard District Central Visayas and Coast Guard Station Cebu, boarded the vessel to verify earlier reports that it was extracting pebbles and white sand from the area. However, the inspection yielded negative results as the cargo holds of MV Ming Yuan were all found to be empty," it said.
However, authorities found that the MV Ming Yuan had not filed any Notice of Arrival with the concerned government agencies before entering Philippine waters.
The Bureau of Immigration has confiscated the passports and seaman's books of the crew of MV Ming Yuan.
Also, the Coast Guard cited a letter from the Bureau of Customs-Cebu dated June 20, saying the MV Ming Yuan violated provisions of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines (TCCP): More....