Manado, North Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - Indonesian naval patrol boats have arrested 22 Philippine vessels in the Indonesian side of the border area in 2011, North Sulawesi naval commander Commodore Sugianto said on the sidelines of a BI-Navy cooperation discussion on financial matters here on Friday.

He said his men have also arrested 12 Philippine boats and their crew.

He also said that while the Philippine fishing boats are relatively small, but they get the support of bigger ones in terms of fuel.

"We have handed over the 22 fishing boats and their 90 crew members to the immigration authorities for further investigation," he said.

He said the outer side of Sulawesi island directly bordering with the Philippines has become a haven for illegal fishing.

"Not only that, it is also an area for smuggling and terrorists," he said.

The navy is regularly securing the Indonesian waters with the support of three special combat boats and eight small patrol boats operating in the border area of the two countries.

"We are also keeping a watchful eye on the Ambalat waters which are still facing problems," he pointed out.

He also said that his men are constantly maintaining synergy with people living in the coastal area and local fishermen in the border areas.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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