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26 Tanzanians among group arrested for illegal fishing in Malindi

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Thirty-nine Tanzanian and Kenyan fishermen were on Tuesday charged with illegally fishing in a restricted area of the Indian Ocean and using the wrong type of fishing nets.

The accused – 26 Tanzanians and 13 Kenyans – denied the charges before Malindi chief magistrate Julie Oseko. Some of the Tanzanians faced a third count of fishing without work permits.

The fishermen were nabbed at Mayungu with 344kg of fish which they allegedly caught using illegal fishing nets.

The court heard that the accused used illegal fishing methods.

Alfred Wanga, the defence lawyer, asked the court to release the accused on bond.

He requested that the Tanzanians deposit their passports and travel documents with the court. Wanga said the fishermen were under the Mayungu Beach Management Unit.

Prosecutor Alice Mathangani objected to the application and asked the court to deny the accused bond.

She said the offence was serious because it deals with conservation.

Mathangani said 15 of the 26 Tanzanians had temporary passports and could abscond court if released on bail.

The prosecutor also told the court that some of the Tanzanians did not have passports.

“A temporary passport is not a guarantee they will not abscond court since one can process another passport at the border,” she said.

The court ordered the accused be remanded at Malindi prison as the Kenya Wildlife Service does a report. A decision on bond application will be made thereafter.

The case will be mentioned on December 7.

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