Kuwait Times: Seven Kuwaiti fishermen, who have been reportedly missing at sea during a fishing trip, have been captured by Iranian authorities after they mistakenly left Kuwaiti territorial waters, informed sources said yesterday. Kuwait Times
By Ahmad Saeid and Hanan Al-Saadoun, Staff Writer
KUWAIT: Seven Kuwaiti fishermen, who have been reportedly missing at sea during a fishing trip, have been captured by Iranian authorities after they mistakenly left Kuwaiti territorial waters, informed sources said yesterday. "The seven Kuwaiti fishermen were arrested by the Iranian Coast Guards at an unspecified location outside Kuwait's territorial waters late Friday evening," the sources told Kuwait Times.
The sources affirmed a missing person's report was filed to the security operations by the brother of one of the fishermen. In his report to the Kuwaiti authorities, he said that his brother and the six other fishermen left to the sea in two fishing boats, adding that he suspects that the seven have been detained by Iranian authorities for wrongly entering Iranian territorial waters.
The Ministry of Interior acted promptly by sending a report on the incident to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which is initiating contacts with Iranian authorities to ensure the release of the missing fishermen. Another Kuwaiti has been reported missing at sea since more three years. His family and relatives have addressed the issue to the Kuwaiti authorities without avail, and all efforts have failed to determine his whereabouts.
Iranian authorities confirmed the missing report on the seven fishermen by saying that they are being held by Iranian authorities. "It is only a standard procedure in any country for detaining any intruders, either at sea or land," the sources added. They confirmed that until the time of preparing this report, Iranian authorities have not received any inquiry or request from their Kuwaiti counterparts.
A number of MPs have called on authorities to expedite measures to ensure the safe return of the seven missing Kuwaitis. "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should take speedy measures and establish necessary contacts with the Iranian authorities to release the seven Kuwaitis," MP Mohammed Hayef said, and added that the Kuwaiti government should not underestimate the issue to avoid further and unneeded complications.