Vila Times

Solomon Islands: 3 Chinese businessmen charged for illegal harvesting

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In Solomon Islands three Chinese businessmen who were granted by the government a license to export the lucrative bechedemer products, have been charged with four counts of criminal offenses by the Magistrate Court.

The Chinese men and their business houses are Chen Zhen Company Limited, Noelyn Bao and Xu Qiang of Oceanic International Limited and Frank Sheng Song of the Solomon FVC New Process Import and Export Limited, reports Solomon Star.

The four charges are related to illegal harvesting of the sea cucumber species at Ontong Java atoll when the ban was still effective this year.

Chief Magistrate Emma Garo after hearing the prosecution and defence counsels concluded with the following ruling: “The defendants are to surrender their passports forthwith to the court; The defendants should each pay cash bail of $10,000 (US$1,279) to the court. The defendants are not to interfere with the witnesses for trial of this matter.”