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Dec 3, 2009

Fishermen busted with undersized conch

Story PictureAlso in court, eleven fishermen from Northern Belize were this morning charged for possession of undersized conch after Fisheries officials made a random check at the Northern Fisherman Cooperative delivery area last Thursday which led to the discovery of over nine hundred and ninety undersized conch. The bust was made on board the vessel Rosa. The men, mostly from Sarteneja and Chunox villages in Corozal included Salustuiano Rivero, and his four brothers, Anastacio, Misael, Merdado, Jesimel a fourteen year old nephew, and cousins, Gilmar and Edilberto Patt, Elgar Aguilar and two friends, Marvin Tuyub and Christian Ramirez were all charged with Possession of undersized conch. The eleven fishermen appeared before Revenues Magistrate, Edd. P. Usher and pleaded not guilty to the charge. Their attorney, Dickie Bradley, got the court to order disclosure of evidence by December twenty fifth and the trial has been set for January thirteenth. If the men are found guilty, they could face a minimum penalty of five hundred dollars each. In addition, anyone who is a first time offender must pay twenty dollars for each conch found in their possession. That means they will have to pay another fine of nineteen thousand eight hundred and eighty dollars. For any person with a previous conviction of similar offenses, the additional fine is thirty dollars for each conch. That amounts to twenty nine thousand eight hundred and twenty dollars. The vessel where the men had the conch had just docked in the area for drop-off.

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