In Singapore, a high-speed patrol boat was launched on Tuesday (13 May) to combat pirates preying on Vietnamese boat people in the Gulf of Thailand.
GV: Patrol boat berthed at pier
SV: Thai Navy sailors on deck
GV: UN/Thai officials at launching ceremony
SV: UN Spokesman speaking to Thai officials
GV: UNHCR officials talking to newsmen (2 shots)
SV: Officials boarding the vessel
SV: Sailor untire rope and cast off (3 shots)
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Background: In Singapore, a high-speed patrol boat was launched on Tuesday (13 May) to combat pirates preying on Vietnamese boat people in the Gulf of Thailand.
The 26-ton vessel, donated by the United Nations, will be stationed at the Thai port of Songkhla and manned by a seven-man crew.
The boat, equipped with powerful radar and radio networks, will be jointly operated by the Thai Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to fight the pirates who have robed, raped and killed hundreds of Vietnamese refugees on the high seas.
A UN spokesman said that United State has contributed US$100,000 and the UNHCR US$60,000 for the boat.
Thai official said the navy would equip the vessel with machineguns and other weapons although the boat's main task would be surveillance.
Thailand now had three patrol boats in the Gulf but they were to slow to be effective against the pirates' fast craft. Thailand also had been using a small aircraft for surveillance in the area, the official added.