Solomons Islands spends $18,000 a day to detain Vietnamese fishermen

It is costing the Solomon Islands government SBD18,000 a day to detain 43 Vietnamese fishermen at Rove Police Club.

A source from the Royal Solomon Islands Police Force told the Solomon Star that the government bore the substantial cost for the operation since last week.

“We roughly estimate that it cost the government SBD 18,000 (aprox USD 2300) to house the Vietnamese,” the source, who deals directly with logistical side of the operation, said.

The source said that includes the detainees’ three meals per day.

“You multiply that amount with the number of days they are being kept at the Rove Police Club and you will come up with the overall projected cost,” the source said.

Earlier, Assistant Commissioner of Police Gwen Ratu said government is yet to come up with the cost of housing and keeping the Vietnamese detainees at Rove Police Club.

Although she did not give any figure, Mrs Ratu admitted that such operation will cost the government a huge amount of money.

The fate of the 43 detained Vietnamese “Reef Robbers” and their three blue boats will be dealt with by the Office of the Attorney General.

Under Secretary of National Fisheries Feral Lasi told reporters last week that after the investigations are completed, it will be compiled and submitted to the AG office who will determine the penalty.

A Member of Parliament Douglas Ete has told parliament that the government should put to tender the three Vietnamese Blue Boats (VBB’s) to generate revenue for the country.

He stated that the government must not have mercy on those captured in the Vietnamese boats.

He said these people knew that Solomon Islands law enforcement is weak, therefore will continue to enter their waters to fish illegally.

“Those captured appeared to be the same people caught and deported by other Pacific island countries, thus we must not have mercy on them,” Mr Ete said.

He said other countries captured these boats and sell them out for government income, which should be the choice at hand, since our revenue collection is slow to recover at this time.

Mr Ete also urged government not to forgive the Vietnamese onboard the captured blue boats.

Three Vietnamese blue boats were captured in Solomon Islands waters after they found fishing illegally.  


Photo RNZ Vietnamese 'blue boats' captured in Honiara, Solomon Islands for fishing illegally