Indonesian authorities will free 690 Vietnamese fishermen who were detained for illegal fishing, officials told dpa Thursday.
The fishermen, who were detained after being caught fishing illegally around several Indonesian islands, will be released and returned to Vietnam on Friday, said the Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia, Hoang Anh Tuan.
Nearly 200 other Vietnamese fishermen are still being detained in Indonesia as suspects and witnesses pending trials in maritime courts, said Eko Djalmo of the Indonesian Marine Resources Ministry.
"Those who will be sent home were not subjected to legal proceedings because they were minor crew members," he said.
Friday's release will bring the total number of fishermen released this year to 1,030.
Indonesia regularly detains foreign fishermen caught in its exclusive economic zone and scuttles their boats as part of a crackdown on illegal fishing.
Since 2014, the Indonesian government has destroyed more than 300 foreign fishing boats.
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