Four fishermen charged for undersized conch Print E-mail
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Thursday, 10 March 2016 00:00

On Thursday evening, March 3, the Belize Fisheries Department arrested four Belizean fishermen for being in possession of undersized conch. Cipriano Flores, 49, Freddy Cortez, 31, Yadir Vargas, 21, and Ricky Teck, 18, appeared before Magistrate Carlon Mendoza on Friday, March 4, to face one charge each.

Freddy Cortez of Trial Farm Village, Orange Walk, was allegedly caught with 222 fillet conch that did not exceed 2 ¾ ounces in weight. Yadir Vargas of Ranchito Village was found in possession of 68 market clean conch that did not exceed 3 ounces in weight. Cipriano Flores of Sarteneja Village, Corozal District, was busted with 189 fillet conch that did not exceed 2 ¾ ounces. Ricky Teck was allegedly in possession of 299 market clean conch. In court, all four fishermen pleaded not guilty to their charge.

The accused men told the magistrate that they were not present when Fisheries officers made the discovery.  They claim that they were brought to the vessel then showed some conch which they had no knowledge of. There was no objection to bail by the Fisheries prosecutor, Hampton Gamboa. Magistrate Mendoza released the men on bail of $1,500 plus one surety of the same amount each. They are due back in court on March 11 when disclosure is expected to be given.