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News Last Updated: Sep 25, 2020 - 8:07:24 AM


Dominican poachers charged before courts
By Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF)
Sep 24, 2020 - 6:50:44 PM

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Coral Harbour Base, (RBDF) – Less than a week after they were apprehended by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force for poaching in Bahamian waters, 81 Dominican poachers were fined a total of $1.9 million during a court sitting on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons.

During the hearing before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes on Wednesday, September 23, the 37 Dominican crew members of DFV “El Ship” were charged with:

(1) Engaging in Illegal Foreign Fishing within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas

(2) Possession of undersized Nassau Grouper

(3) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus 

(4) Possession of Undersized Crawfish.

The men all pleaded "guilty" and were convicted and fined $20,000 each or 6 months in prison. The captain was fined $30,000 or 9 months in prison.

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During the hearing before Chief Magistrate Joanne Ferguson Pratt in Court #9 on Thursday, September 24, the 44 Dominican crew members of DFV “Angel Gabriel” were charged with:

(1) Engaging in Illegal Foreign Fishing within the Exclusive Fishery Zone of The Bahamas

(2) Possession of undersized Nassau Grouper

(3) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus 

(4) Possession of Undersized Crawfish.

(5) Possession of Prohibited Apparatus

The captain and crew pleaded guilty to all of the charges. There were 29 first time offenders who were fined $25,000 each. Failure to pay would result in 6 months in jail. There were 14 repeat offenders who were fined $30,000 each plus 6 months in prison, and the captain was fined $35,000 plus 9 months in prison.  Failure to pay these fines would result in an additional 8 months in jail for both the repeat offenders and the captain.

It was on Thursday September 17 that the 2 Dominican Vessels were apprehended in the area of Diamond Point, Great Bahama Bank by members of HMBS Lignum Vitae, under the command of Lieutenant James Cox. 

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force continues to protect the territorial integrity of The Bahamas.

(For further information please contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our website: www.rbdf.gov.bs, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and view our Youtube channel)

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