The Solomon Islands Magistrate’s Court in Honiara has fined the 40 Vietnamese “blue boats” crew members almost SBD$800 (US$102) each for illegally entering the country.

The 40 men, crew members of the three boats now anchored in Point Cruz, were detained last month after they were caught fishing illegally.


They pleaded guilty to entering the country illegally, under the Solomon Islands Immigration laws.

Chief Magistrate John Numapo gave them Wednesday 19 April until May 1 to pay their fines.

He also asked them if they knew they were breaking the country’s law by coming into the Solomon seas.

The crew answered, through a translator, that they did not know they were breaking any law.

Chief Magistrate Numapo urged them to pay their fines, warning he would impose a different sentence if they failed.

The three captains of the blue boats will appear separately in court today. SOURCE: SIBC/PACNEWS [/restrict]