One of Seychelles’ biggest drug busts: 3 Seychellois men get 30 years prison time
Fabio and Dario Soopramanien, two Seychellois brothers and their accomplice Gerard Bastienne were sentenced by the Seychelles supreme court on Friday.
They were accused of human trafficking and also drug importation and trafficking. This happens to be one of the biggest such cases.
The three men were sentenced by Chief Justice Rony Govinden to 30 years imprisonment under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2016 and Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons Act 2014.
The Misuse of Drugs Act (MODA) 2016 states that: drug trafficking is an offence, and the traffickers will be prosecuted irrespective of the amount of drug involved.
Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons Act 2014 states that: if adults are involved in the offence, the maximum time of their punishment will be 14 years imprisonment, accompanied by a penalty of up to $35,457.
Their case involved the importation of heroin as well as trafficking.
The men October 2021, reportedly threw their vessel overboard. Traces was later discovered from packets that were recovered from the ocean. Cannabis weighing a total of 130.58 kilograms was retrieved.
Govinden said that this is among the biggest busts of cannabis that have happened in the history of Seychelles.
He also said the drugs would have been of negative impact on their society if it had the ability to enter the drug market.
The total amount of years in prison and penalty from all counts against the convicts sum up to SCR 1 million ($70,000) and 65 years for Gerard Bastienne, SCR 1.1 million ($77,000) and 68 years for Dario Soopramanien and SCR 1.3 million ($91,000) and 70 years for Fabio Soopramanien.
However, they are all going to serve a prison sentence of 30 years.
If within a period of 14 days the penalty is not paid, the men will further be assigned to serve another five years.
Govinden also gave an order that the human trafficking victim Andy Bistoquet will be compensated with ($35,000) SCR 500,000 from the penalty paid by the convicts.
Meanwhile, there are 11 Iranian nationals in remand. - Mohammed Khaki, Sha Dosth, Phir Baksh Balochi, Qadir Baksh, Mohammad Baksh, Mohammad Bomarie, Avid Boluzai, Abdul Qadi-Khani Nahad, Sameer BazdarNasir, Khaki-Nahad, and others-
They were charged with human trafficking because they supposedly agreed to involve themselves in the transportation of Bistoquet on a ship to Iran posing as a drug guarantee. They are still awaiting a sentence.
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