A Vietnamese coastal vessel, seized at sea by four crewmen, in an attempt tot leave Vietnam, remained anchored off Singapore on Monday (10 April), as the Singapore government continued its investigation of the incident.
GV Singapore harbour
GV Mutiny ship as police launch passes by in foreground ZOOM IN TO mutiny ship with police launch by side and other police launches patrolling area
Singapore Foreign Minister, Sinnathamby rajaratnam, said recently that Singapore was on the verge of setting up diplomatic relations with Vietnam, when four armed men hijacked an Air Vietnam plane in Singapore, killing two crew members. The hijackers were tried in Singapore and despite Vietnamese demands for their return, they were each sentenced to 14 years in jail. Two military pilots, who flew to Singapore last month, were quickly allowed to re-settle in the United States and their plane was returned to Vietnam.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: A Vietnamese coastal vessel, seized at sea by four crewmen, in an attempt tot leave Vietnam, remained anchored off Singapore on Monday (10 April), as the Singapore government continued its investigation of the incident. An official spokesman said a decision on the fate of the four mutineers, and of some of the 30 others on board, who were believed to have supported them, would be made, when the investigation was complete.
SYNOPSIS: The 558-tonne Vamco-24 was seized several days ago by its second officer, and three other seamen, after it left Haiphong for Ho Chi Minh City, with a cargo of fertiliser. The captain and some other officers were overpowered and locked in a cabin, but according to the Singapore government, no one was injured. The second officer sent cables to both the United States and Australian embassies in Singapore saying "Please help us for freedom". The vessel arrived in Singapore on Sunday, and the United States Embassy said it was prepared to interview anyone seeking asylum if the Singapore government temporarily allowed them to stay there. The Singapore government now faces the delicate task of deciding whether to treat the four rebel seamen as refugees or criminals, who have violated Singapore's laws. This is the third time in six months that fleeing Vietnamese have arrived in Singapore, upsetting its efforts to improve relations with Hanoi.