Chinese patrol 'shot at trawler'

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 March, 1998, 12:00am

FOUR fishermen have claimed their boat was chased and fired on by a mainland patrol craft.

After receiving their 999 call at 9 pm on Friday, Marine Police boarded the Hong Kong-registered fishing boat off Waglan Island to find a uniformed officer of the mainland Border Defence Security Bureau.

Hong Kong and mainland authorities discussed the problem before the fishermen and the vessel - in SAR waters - were handed to Hong Kong police.

A mainland patrol craft later collected the border defence officer and returned him to his base on Wailingding Island.

Police found 18 tonnes of dutiable industrial diesel in the fishing boat.

Last night, all four men, in their 30s, were helping police with their inquiries at Marine Police headquarters in Sai Wan Ho.

A police spokesman said officers were investigating claims that the pursuing mainland officers had shot at the boat, while customs officers would look into possible smuggling.

'We were told that the patrol boat was on its way to the mainland border defence base on Wailingding Island but it entered Hong Kong waters because of 'rushing' seas,' the spokesman said.

No one was hurt in the incident.