Philippine authorities launch probe into Chinese dredgers’ alleged suspicious activity

Manila Bay, Philippines

The Maritime Industry Authority of the Philippines (MARINA) has begun investigating alleged suspicious activity by the crews of Chinese-owned dredgers operating in some portions of Manila Bay.

The investigations come in response to a report submitted by local maritime surveillance agency the National Coast Watch Center (NCWC) saying that several foreign vessels were observed outside of their approved areas of operation as permitted by MARINA.

The NCWC report, which was submitted to MARINA in late November 2022, also alleged that the Chinese dredgers did not possess clearances and environmental compliance certificates as required by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and the Office of the National Security Adviser. Some of the dredgers were also found to be operating with false AIS data, thus preventing the proper monitoring and recording of their movements while in Philippine waters.

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