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    GEORGIA: COAST GUARDS DETAIN UKRAINIAN POACHERS UNDER RUSSIAN FLAG

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    TBILISI, February 13, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - A fishing boat was caught red-handed in Georgian territorial waters. The "Trepang", a Ukrainian vessel, was flying the Russian flag while detained in the Black Sea. The misunderstanding was settled as coast guards were checking its papers. The crew says Abkhaz authorities demanded a Russian flag hoisted, Major-General David Gulua, vice-president of Georgia's State Border Guard Department, informed RIA Novosti.

    Officers of the self-proclaimed republic must have thought Georgian coast guards would turn a blind eye to a Russian ship trespassing, he assumes.

    The "Trepang", with a crew of seventeen, is presently in the Poti seaport, Georgia. Its Ukrainian proprietor will be fined US$125,000 for trespassing, and be brought to book for flying a foreign flag.

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