Mogadishu(Mogadishu24)-The Benadir Regional Court of Appeal has on Monday ruled on 36 foreign nationals who were arrested for illegal fishing within Somalia’s sea territory, fining each of them $12,000, making a total fine of $432,000 for all the defendants.

Said Ali Mohamed, Court judge declared that the permit letters presented by the defendants’ lawyers did not comply with Federal Government maritime laws.

“The permits and certificates provided by the Galmudug State’s Ministry of Fisheries do not align with Somali maritime laws, which gives the Federal Government, the sole authority to issue fishing permits,” said, Judge.

The judge dismissed a $30,000 fine imposed on the defendants by the lower court but ruled that the government would seize their boats.

“After considering evidence, the court orders the defendants to pay $12,000 each, amounting to a total of $432,000. The government will claim ownership of two boats and all the fishing equipment. Additionally, it will retain the money from the sales of the fish that were previously sold by the lower court,” he added.

The 36 foreign nationals were arrested last year for illegally fishing within Somalia’s maritime boundaries. The Banadir Regional Lower Court fined them $30,000, prompting a government prosecutor’s appeal.

Despite the verdict, the defendants have the option to appeal to the Supreme Court if they are dissatisfied with the outcome of the appeal court.

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