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Seychelles Supreme Court Imposes $41,000 Fine on Sri Lankan National for Illegal Fishing

The Seychelles Supreme Court has handed down a conviction to Makavita Liyanage Dilesh, a 43-year-old Sri Lankan national, imposing a fine of SCR 550,000 ($41,000) for illegal fishing in the territorial waters of the island nation. The verdict was announced on Wednesday, following Dilesh’s arrest in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on November 24 last year while he was in charge of the vessel Rankurulla 4.

According to the police, the presiding judge took into account the accused’s guilty plea, acknowledging that he did not prolong the court proceedings unnecessarily. Dilesh, a married man with two children still attending school, emphasized the financial dependence of his family on his income.

During the court proceedings, the Sri Lankan national disclosed that the catch from the illegal fishing expedition was sold for SCR 35,320, and this sum was collected by the Seychelles Fishing Authority.

The fine is required to be settled within 60 days; failure to comply will result in an 18-month prison term for the convict.

In a related development earlier this month, 18 foreign vessels, including one from Sri Lanka with eight crew members, were intercepted and detained in the Seychelles’ EEZ. The vast Exclusive Economic Zone of Seychelles, spanning 1.4 million square kilometers in the western Indian Ocean, poses a significant challenge in monitoring and curbing illegal activities within the nation’s waters

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