Tuna men file complaint

Crew from several United States-flagged purse seiners have been targeted for assaults and robberies the past two years, including one earlier this month. Pictured: The FV Ocean Galaxy, one of a fleet of US-flagged vessels, tied up to a carrier vessel for transshipment in Majuro lagoon. Photo: Karen Earnshaw.
Crew from several United States-flagged purse seiners have been targeted for assaults and robberies the past two years, including one earlier this month. Pictured: The FV Ocean Galaxy, one of a fleet of US-flagged vessels, tied up to a carrier vessel for transshipment in Majuro lagoon. Photo: Karen Earnshaw.

American fishing captains are asking RMI law enforcement officials to put an end to ongoing assaults and robberies in Majuro of crew members from US-flagged purse seiners.

The navigator on a US-flagged purse seiner who was robbed at knife point in a Majuro taxi earlier this month and his captain  filed a formal complaint to authorities Wednesday.

The Asian navigator from the US vessel FV Ocean Challenger was assaulted on May 9 as he was riding in a taxi.

The crew member “was assaulted and robbed by knife point while traveling in a licensed Majuro taxi,” said Captain Mike Baker, who commands the FV Sea Trader, and last year reported similar assaults on crew members from two US purse seiners.

“This violent crime victimizing Asian crew aboard US flagged vessels follows the same pattern as the assaults and robberies reported to your office January 2015,” said Baker in an email to Police Commissioner George Lanwi Tuesday. The complaint was also shared with the RMI Attorney General’s office.

FV Ocean Challenger returned from a fishing trip to Port Majuro recently, and Captain Mark Guidi and the victim are seeking justice. “I alert you to Captain Guidi’s intentions and supply you with the past information of ‘copy cat crimes’ involving violent robberies that incorporate the use of licensed Majuro taxis in the hope that you can aid our USA crews in achieving justice, and help prevent future assaults to our crew during their procurement of supplies for forthcoming fishing trips,” Baker said to Lanwi.

Last year, separate incidents involved assaults and robberies of four crew members from the FV Ocean Conquest and FV Ocean Expedition, both US-flagged fishing boats that regularly use Majuro for transshipment of tuna.

Read more about this in the May 27, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.

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