San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Colombia nabs 4 Ticos illegally fishing in marine sanctuary

The crew of Costa Rican fishing vessel Elizabeth X was arrested Monday while illegally fishing in Malpelo Island, a natural sanctuary in the Pacific waters of Colombia, the daily El Tiempo reported.

Pacific Coast Guard officers patrolling the area found the boat, and although the four Costa Rican crewmen attempted to flee, they were quickly detained and taken to the Colombian port of Buenaventura, some 490 kilometers from the island.

During the inspection officers found some 600 kilograms of illegal catch inside the boat’s freezers including sailfish, dorado and bigeye threshers.

Colombian police charged the fishermen with the crime of illegally exploiting natural resources across maritime borders, and “were sent to Immigration officials for their return to the Central American country,” Cpt. Juan Mauricio Díaz, commander of the Pacific Coast Guard, told El Tiempo.

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