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News & Media
- Abalone trafficker lands record fisheries sentence
- September 24, 2012
A Mogo man has received the toughest sentence ever handed down in NSW for fisheries offences – four years gaol for abalone trafficking.
Department of Primary Industries (DPI) Fisheries Compliance Director, Glenn Tritton, said the sentencing in Moruya Local Court concludes a long running case that began during an extensive joint operation by DPI and the NSW Police Force in 2010.
“A 55 year old man was sentenced to four years imprisonment with a three year non-parole period and fined $1000 after being convicted of four counts of abalone trafficking and one count of threatening a fisheries officer,” Mr Tritton said.
“The man has lodged an appeal against his conviction.
“His 28 year old son was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment with a non-parole period of nine months after being convicted of two counts of trafficking abalone.
“This offender is appealing the severity of his sentence.
“Two other offenders in this case had earlier been sentenced to gaol terms, one receiving three months and the other four months.”
Acting NSW Police Marine Area Command Superintendent, Joe McNulty, said the two men in the most recent sentencing were identified as the alleged syndicate ringleaders during an investigation in Sydney and on the South Coast.
During this investigation, police seized 380 kilograms of illegal abalone meat. It was allegedly supplied on the black market for $20,000; on the legitimate market, it would have been valued at around $40,000.
“On the day of the arrest, the alleged syndicate ring leader was found in possession of 429 abalone, of which 388 were undersize,” Acting Supt McNulty said.
Mr Tritton said the tough penalties imposed on members of the trafficking syndicate demonstrate that abalone theft will not be tolerated.
“If you are found breaching the regulations, you will face the full force of the law, which could mean up to ten years in gaol for trafficking in abalone,” he said.
“Fisheries officers and NSW Police officers will continue to run operations targeting the illegal abalone fishery and bring offenders before the courts.”
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