Three Uruguayan crewmembers from the longliner Maya V, caught illegally fishing, and who had pleaded not guilty were sentenced Wednesday by an Australian Court in Perth to pay a 750 US dollars fine plus 350 US dollars prosecution costs.
In her ruling Magistrate Pamela Hogan said the three sailors, Roberto Bagnarra, Alejandro Mayo Texis and Gustavo De los Santos were onboard a fishing vessel, illegally operating in Australian waters and that they had been specifically contracted to fish.
The three Uruguayans must pay fines and costs in the next 24 hours and will remain detained in an Illegal Immigrants Centre from where they will be deported as soon as a commercial flight connection to Uruguay can be arranged.
Defence solicitor Mathew Walton requested the accused be given extra time to thank and say good bye to all the people that helped them and with whom they have been living since the court proceedings began several months ago.
Uruguayan flagged longliner "Maya V", but belonging to Vigo interests and with a crew made up mainly of Chileans with Spanish officers was arrested by the Australian Navy while poaching for toothfish last January.
Magistrate Hogan said the sentencing was similar to that of the rest of the crew which agreed to plead guilty to illegal fishing and were deported several months earlier.
The captain of "Maya V" Charles Thomas Peña and Spanish fishing master Manuel Regueira were both fined last September the equivalent to 21,000 US dollars each.
The other 34 crewmembers pleaded guilty and after paying lesser fines were deported to their countries of origin.
When the Australian Navy boarded the "Maya V", which did not have a licence to catch in Australian waters, they found onboard 200 tons of unreported toothfish with an estimated value of over 1,5 million US dollars.