Sea Cucumber Trio Given Fines for Offenses

vlcsnap-2014-02-19-19h32m50s179vlcsnap-2014-02-19-19h32m33s241Last week we told you of three Guatemalans charged with fisheries offenses after police and fisheries personnel stopped their vehicle and found over 3,000 pounds of illegal sea cucumber.

Today Georgina Aldana, her common-law partner Hugo Salas and their worker Cesar Ramirez changed their plea to guilty of the charge of engaging in commercial fishing without a valid fisherman’s license, each drawing a $500 fine, in default six months.

The Fisheries Department withdrew the charges of engaging in fishing for sea cucumber and attempting to export fisheries products without a valid export license.

Aldana alone was charged with possession of a false document, namely an altered export license in the name of Lenario Samos.

vlcsnap-2014-02-19-19h32m42s71justice hammerThe real Samos was issued the license in 2013, but the license confiscated by authorities had had its license number tampered with and changed to reflect a valid license for 2014.  The Department says it only granted four such licenses for this year.  Mr. Aldana was fined $6,000, the maximum, and ordered to pay immediatlely or in default, 2 years in prison.  At press time the trio were still trying to settle their fines.

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