Taipei, March 1 (CNA) A Chinese fishing boat and its crew, which had been detained by the Taiwanese authorities since Feb. 4, was released Wednesday after the owner paid a fine of NT$1.2 million (US$39,000), according to the Keelung coast guard.
The Min Zhang Yu No. 24188 was detained in waters 37 kilometers northwest of Pengjia Islet (彭佳嶼), which lies about 56 km off Taiwan's northern coast.
The 54-year-old boat owner, surnamed Zhang, remitted the full amount of the fine to the Taiwanese authorities, and was notified by the coast guard that the boat and his crew would be released.
Later in the day, the Keelung City government confirmed that Zhang and his 11 crew members had been escorted back into Chinese waters by the local coast guard.
In addition to the fine, the intruders' fishing gear, including two trawl nets and their 2,000-kilogram catch, were dumped into the sea.
(By Wang Chao-yu and Ko Lin)