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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
$185k plea agreement largest shark fin penalty in Palau history
Taiwan fishing boat captain Tsai Wuen Teng will spend 32 days in jail for attempt tp bribe officials over an illegal shark finning case in Palau. The remainder of his two year sentence is suspended.
Tsai must also pay a civil penalty of $160,000; $20,000 in cost recovery to Palaus Marine Enforcement Bureau; forfeit $5,643 in fish sales monies and forfeit his fishing equipment of hooks, lines and leaders after being caught with 650 shark fins, 94 shark bodies and ten shark heads on August 15.
He has also been fined $1000 and will have to forfeit the $2,392 he offered in an attempted bribe of Marine Law Enforcement Officer Earl Benhart.
Assistant Attorney General Christopher Hale who prosecuted both cases involving Tsai has included in the guilty plea agreements reached this week a prohibition of Tsai from fishing or having any financial interest in a fishing venture in Palau waters. Tsai must leave Palau within five days of serving his jail time and is permanently banned from returning to Palau.
The case is just one of a number pending before the Supreme Court for shark fining and other regulatory violations but the size of this penalty is the largest in Palau history. The previous highest penalty was a mere $50,000.
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Oceania/Other Pacific Islands