THE Ministry of Labour yesterday issued a cheque of $2460.60 as part of an outstanding wages payout to the two Fijian men who were on board the Chinese fishing vessel Lurong Yuen Yu 205.
Andre Are Naoneata, 27 and Tomu Koimola, 34 both of Marata Village in Wailoku had arrived in Fiji on March 1 after 72 days out at sea and were trying to contact their employer for their salary but were given the run around.
The two men were also with Mr Naoneata's younger brother Tomu Koimola, 24, who is believed to be lost at sea.
The trio left Fiji on December 20, and on January 3 the vessel Lurong Yuen Yu 205 was anchored in Tahiti waters.
According to Mr Naoneata a party was taking place on board the fishing vessel where their captain was joined by another skipper of the same company to celebrate Chinese New Year on January 9.
Mr Naoneata said his brother and his namesake were part of the party and were drinking alcohol until around 5pm on the said day.
It was at night that he found out that his brother was missing, after being notified by an Indonesian crew member.
The payout yesterday is going to be shared among the two men while an inquest will be held to determine if Koimola died as a result of his work.
"When the article came out in the paper, they were already working on documenting the papers for the payout," Labour Minister Jone Usamate said.