Taipei, A Filipino man has been arrested on suspicion of killing two of his crew members on a Taiwan-registered fishing boat in the Indian Ocean last month, the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) said Saturday.
The suspect was arrested at sea Saturday after the members of a special task force from Taiwan talked him into surrendering and he will be brought back to Taiwan for questioning, the CGA said in a statement.
The man is suspected of killing two crew members and injuring several others, while the other crew members were forced to jump overboard during and after the knife attack on board the Wen Peng on Feb. 20.
At the time, the Pingtung-registered fishing boat was sailing in the Indian Ocean, approximately 1,540 nautical miles from the Mauritius capital of Port Louis, carrying a crew of 24 -- three Taiwanese, 10 Filipinos and 11 Indonesians, according to Taiwan investigators.
The captain of the Wen Peng and the surviving crew members were later rescued by boats in the area but the Filipino suspect remained on the fishing vessel, authorities said.
On Saturday, a special task force of eight officials from the CGA and the Fisheries Agency arrived in the area near the Wen Peng on a chartered fishing boat after a seven-day journey, the CGA said.
Based on information the task force had obtained from the captain of the Wen Peng, they tried to get close to the vessel but were unable to enter he cabin, where the suspect was holed up, because the vessel and the door were electronically secured, the CGA said.
The members of the task force then on their boat began talking to the suspect via a wireless system, trying to convince him to surrender, according to the CGA.
After about half an hour later, the suspect gave in and jumped overboard, the CGA said.
The man was taken on board the chartered boat and will be brought back to Taiwan for interrogation, after which he will be handed over to the Pingtung District Prosecutors Office for further investigation of the case, the CGA said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel