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December 29, 2012
Star News


Accused Venezuelans facing multiply charges

Seven Venezuelan nationals were hauled before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday to answer to several charges arising from being caught fishing illegally in Jamaican waters.

The seven accused men are: Antonio Lemos (Captain), Jhon Hernandez, Jose Camacho, Jose Iguaran, Gerando Nunez, Angel Garcia and Angel Carabali.

They are charged with illegal entry in Jamaican waters; fishing without a licence in Jamaican waters and operating an unlicensed boat.

The captain, Lemos, was slapped with an additional charge, exporting products without the required licence.

They all plead guilty to the charges and received fines.

They were each fined $5,000 or 30 days for illegal entry and $500 or 10 days for fishing without a licence.

Lemos along with Hernandez were each also fined $5,000 or 30 days for operating an unlicensed boat, while Lemos was additionally fined $200,000 or 12 months' imprisonment for exporting without a required licence.

The men argued that they were in mechanical difficulties and ended up in Jamaican waters.

The court was told that the men were arrested on December 26, however, they were being observed by the JDF Coast Guard from the night before near the Pedro Cays.

Reports are that when the JDF approached, they fled then only stopped when they were ordered to do so.

The prosecution is also contending that the men had markers used to catch fish, lobster and conch in the water, which they tried to hide when they JDF was approaching their vessel.

Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser gave the accused men a mention date on January 14, when they can address getting back the boat.

RM Fraser told the Venezuelans that they were free to go home once the fines were paid.

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