"The Ukrainian fishing vessel YMK-0041 homeported in Ochakiv, Ukraine, was detained," the press service of the so-called "Russia's FSB Border Department in Crimea told Krym.Realii news outlet. The vessel was detained for "illegal fishing."
The occupiers claim that the illegal fishing gear – several kilometers of nets – was seized. The trawler and crew of five Ukrainian citizens were taken to Crimea for further procedural actions. The Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has not yet commented on the detention of Ukrainian citizens.
On March 25, the Ukrainian Border Guard Service arrested the fishing vessel flying the Russian flag in the Ukraine's water zone of the Sea of Azov. The check showed that the vessel had previously called into Crimean ports in violation of the Ukrainian legislation.
On April 4, arrested vessel’s captain Vladimir Gorbenko was brought to Kherson for bail hearing. He was charged with violation of the order of entry into the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and departure from it under part 2 of article 332-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.
On April 6, Kherson city court remanded Nord’s captain in pretrial custody until May 31. He was later bailed out after a bail of 35,240 hryvnia (about $1,330) was posted for him.
The employees of the General Consulate of the Russian Federation tried to smuggle Nord’s crew out of Ukraine on the night of April 8. The day before, the vessel’s crew members were fined for unauthorized entry to the temporarily occupied territory of Ukraine and leaving it.
On May 3, the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine said that Russian coastguards had started to inspect vessels heading to Ukraine on a daily basis. The inspections began on April 30 and were triggered by the March 25 arrest of the Nord trawler.