State prosecutors will push for the maximum penalty – either a $SBD12 million fine or five years jail – against the three captains of the Vietnamese Blue Boats.
After the captains pleaded guilty to the charges of illegal fishing last Friday, prosecutor Andrew Kelesi told SIBC News in an interview today he would push for the maximum penalties against the captains.
“As much as we want them to pay the fine, which will generate some income or us, if they are not able to buy the fines we will ask for maximum imprisonment term,” he said.
“The maximum fine is 12 million (SBD) for each count. If they are not able to pay that, they can serve up to five years imprisonment.”
The captains and their crew were caught fishing illegally in the country’s waters, 50km south of Rennell Island, in March. The crew of about 40 people were deported last month after paying fines of $SBD800 each.
They will appear again before the High Court next month.
By Kikiva Tuni