8 Apr 2004

France to repatriate Chinese sailors from New Caledonia

1:16 pm on 8 April 2004

The French government says it will pay for the repatriation of 14 Chinese sailors who worked on a Taiwanese ship intercepted in November for illegal fishing.

The French high commission says they will be flown home over Easter for humanitarian reasons.

It says the Taiwanese ship owner stopped paying their wages in December and that they are being fed by the French high commission and a charity.

The captain of the ship, the San Sheng 168, began a one-year jail sentence last month for failing to assist a New Caledonian crew whose vessel he had rammed.