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February 1, 2014
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Fishermen warned about smuggling drugs, guns

Rasbert Turner, Star Writer

At a time when the police are battling the deadly drug-for-gun trade, fishermen are being warned not to be involved in drug smuggling, gun smuggling or any illegal activity at sea.

The warning comes from Assistant Superintendent Oral Foster, head of the police's Marine Division. Foster was speaking at the handover of 10 Yamaha outboard engines to fishermen from seven fishing villages islandwide. The handover was done in Spanish Town, St Catherine, by Food for the Poor (FFP).

"I must beg you not to involve yourselves in crime. If you see anyone carrying out any illegal act, you should report it," ASP implored.

He also told fishermen to ensure their vessels are license and insured.

The recipients were also warned to keep safety gears and do their fishing within territorial water or they will face prosecution.

The legality of the fishermen's operations were endorsed by a representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

"The fishing industry is a business. therefore, it is important that you all keep it clean to let it benefit us all. We are also thankful for the constant support of Food for the Poor for it's continued support," chief executive officer of the Fisheries Division in the ministry, Andre Kong, said.

Kong said it is for this reason why there will be continuous training of fishermen to enhance best practices.

"I must emphasise on you being honest in your dealings, as, if you are caught doing illegal acts, you will be de-registered under the Fishing Industry Act," he warned.

The Star was informed that the Yamaha 40 horsepower engines cost $441,500 each. The 10 recipients expressed joy to FFP for its support to the fishing industry for the last 10 years.

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