Businessman Appeals Sea Cucumber Processing Conviction

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  • Illegal fishing of cucumber for export lands exporter in legal strife
    Illegal fishing of cucumber for export lands exporter in legal strife

Deidre Fanene

Prominent Chinese/Samoan businessman, Mr. Chen Pao, is fighting a District Court conviction for the unlawful processing of sea cucumbers for export.

Pao was found guilty earlier this year of one count of operating a processing plant for sea cucumbers without a license.

He was also guilty of one count of operating a processing plant for export purposes.

District Court Judge Fepulea’i Ameperosa Roma handed the rulings down earlier this year.

Newsline understands that a warrant of arrest was issued for the businessman when he failed to appear in court for sentencing.

The matter, however, has been moved up to the Supreme Court on appeal filed by solicitor Mr. Semi Leung Wai, acting as legal counsel for the defendant.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries carried out a joint investigation earlier in the year,  into reports that the businessman was processing sea cucumbers.

A combined search at his Savalalo and Fugalei premises where he runs a hotel and restaurant businesses led to the court charges.

His appeal comes up for mention in court next week on Monday.

A ban has been enforced around the country for the fishing of sea cucumbers for the purpose of exporting.

There is a huge demand for sea cucumbers in China where they are a delicacy in Chinese cuisine, fetching huge prices.

The sea food is also used in traditional Chinese medicine, where it's believed to have healing properties and used to treat ailments like arthritis, cancer, frequent urination and impotence.

The fishing community in the villages around Samoa were encouraged by local exporters to fish for sea cucumbers before a conservation ban was brought in to make it illegal.

 

 

 

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