A Vietnamese seafarer was arrested on Thursday on suspicion of killing his Chinese captain on a container ship bound from Vietnam to a central South Korean port, maritime police said.
The alleged murder occurred at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, when the 13,000-ton ship was passing through the sea south of Uldo, a Yellow Sea island, towards its destination, Pyeongtaek-Dangjin Port, according to the Pyeongtaek Coast Guard.
The 24-year-old Vietnamese national was accused of stabbing his 44-year-old Chinese captain several times in the steering room of the Panama flag ship.
Witnesses allegedly told police that the Vietnamese sailor may have committed the crime after being scolded by the captain and was intoxicated at the time of the incident.
A total of 19 seafarers – 17 from Vietnam, including the murder suspect, and two from China — were on board the ship and other sailors reported the captain’s death to the Coast Guard through the vessel traffic control center, the police said.
A Coast Guard patrol ship approached the container ship and the Vietnamese sailor was detained as a murder suspect on the spot, police said, adding the ship was escorted into Pyeongtaek-Dangjin Port, about 90 kilometers south of Seoul, around 9 a.m. Thursday.
The Pyeongtaek Coast Guard said the exact motive for the crime was being investigated and the ship has been put under isolation for investigation.