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Reef robbers flown home

Reef robbers at the Honiara international airport prior to their departure yesterday….photo supply

THE remaining 36 crew members of the three captured Vietnamese blue boats left the country yesterday morning.

Four had already left last week.

Director of Immigration, Mr Mason Henry Fugui confirmed to this paper yesterday that only the three captains of the vessels are yet in the country, for legal reasons.

He said the 36 left on board Air Niugini at 10am yesterday via route Honiara- PNG- Singapore- Kuala Lumpur -Vietnam.

In a recent media report the three captains were charged with four counts under the Fisheries Management Act 2015 and Fisheries regulations 2009.

It specified that under the Fisheries (Amendment) regulation 2009, they were charged in relation to illegal harvesting and catching of beche-de-mer in Solomon Seas.

Also under the Fisheries Management Act 2015, they were charged for using fishing gears not permitted in Solomon Island waters, illegal entry into the country’s waters and engaging in fishing activities prohibited under the Fisheries Management Act 2015.

They were faced fines up to $SBD12 million, or around three years in jail.

The Vietnamese were caught last month in the indispensable reef of Rennell and Bellona province stealing the country’s marine resources.

Since their capture, they were detained at the RSIPF Rove headquarters until their departure.

The three captains will appear in court this week.


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