4 Apr 2013

18 Indonesian fishermen flown home from American Samoa after jumping ship

4:19 pm on 4 April 2013

Eighteen Indonesian fishermen, who have been held in police custody in American Samoa for the past two weeks, are being sent home.

Chief immigration officer Dennis Fuimaono says when a fishing vessel was about to depart two weeks ago, 18 crew refused to leave.

Mr Fuimaono told the newspaper that the fishermen had claimed that they were being mistreated by the vessel's skipper, that they had been denied medical aid and had not been paid.

He says the local agent for the vessel is paying for the air fares, meals at the correctional

facility, along with penalty fees incurred when the fishermen refused to board the vessel.

The bill comes to more than 9 thousand US dollars without covering the costs of room and board at the correctional facility.