Supreme Court hands down decisions in drug-related cases and unlicensed fishing matter | 15 October 2020
*Republic V Jean-Eve Antoine Servina
The Supreme Court yesterday sentenced Jean-Eve Servina to a term of one-year imprisonment, which is suspended for two years, on the count of possession of 174.50 grammes of cannabis with intent to traffic.
Servina pleaded guilty to the offence of cultivation of a controlled drug, namely 50 plants of cannabis found outside his residence at Belonie, Mahé, after he was stopped and searched by officers of the Anti-Narcotics Bureau (ANB) on February 11, 2018 at Pascal Village, where he was found to have herbal materials.
Asked where he had obtained the material, Servina informed them that he had a plantation at Belonie and proceeded to show the police the plantation where the fifty plants were found to be growing.
The plants measuring 1cm to 6 cm in length were analysed and found to be cannabis.
Justice Mathilda Twomey further sentenced Servina to a fine of R5,000 payable by the end of December 2020, in default of which he shall serve six months’ imprisonment. He has the right to appeal against both conviction and sentence.
*Republic V Daniel Georges Fred
Daniel Georges Fred was on September 30 sentenced to a term of six-month imprisonment and a fine of R30,000.00 to be paid before the end of October 2020, for possession of a controlled drug with intent to traffic.
The 36-year-old convict of Rochon was found in possession of a controlled drug namely hashish (cannabis resin) with a total net weight of 412.19 grammes which gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that there was intent to traffic.
On Saturday July 5 the Anti Narcotics Bureau (ANB) within the Seychelles Police Force went to the house where the convict lives to carry out a search. A sniffer dog was used in the search during which it gave an indication that a controlled drug was in a bag found in a room of the house, belonging to Fred. Fred was brought in the room and was shown the suspected controlled drug, which was then analysed and found to consist of 412.19 grammes of cannabis resin. It is important to note that no trafficking paraphernalia and no money in loose denomination were found during the search, which are the usual signs of the offence of drug trafficking.
In default of payment of the fine, Fred is to serve a term of 6 months’ imprisonment. Time spent on remand is to count towards the sentence.
Fred is entitled to remission at the discretion of the Superintendent of Prisons if he is to serve the default sentence.
He has a right of appeal against the conviction and sentence in this case.
*Republic V Anarita Ignaiace
On Monday October 12, the Supreme Court sentenced Anarita Ignaiace to a term of one-year imprisonment, which is suspended for two years, and a fine of R7500, to be paid in R2500 instalments as from the month of November. In default of the payment, a term of 6 months’ imprisonment is to be imposed.
Ignaiace was charged with trafficking in a controlled drug, precisely 4.16 grammes of heroin (pure quantity 2.2. grammes). She pleaded guilty to the charge without proceeding to trial and was convicted of the same.
In handing down the judgment, Justice M. Burhan considered the convict’s guilty plea and the fact that she had expressed remorse and regret, and that she is free from drugs, as proven by a test conducted by the Agency for Prevention of Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation (Apdar).
*Republic V M A Shan Madushanka
M. A Shan Madushanka was on October 5 convicted and sentenced by the Supreme Court for four offences under the Fisheries Act, including using a foreign fishing vessel which is not licensed for fishing in Seychelles waters.
M. A Shan Madushanka, a Sri Lankan national being the Skipper or Master of the Sri Lankan fishing vessel ‘SAMPATH’ bearing registration number IMUL-A-0911KLT, used the said fishing vessel for fishing in the Seychelles waters on April 13, 2020 at around 1442hrs, North East of Denis Island, Mahé.
In addition to Count 1 for illegally fishing in Seychelles water, he was convicted on Count 2 for tampering or wilfully destroying the vessel monitoring device or tracking device of the fishing vessel, on Count 3 for failing to supply the required information to the authorities and on Count 4, also for failing to supply information regarding the missing fishing gears in the vessel SAMPATH which was found at the time of interception of the said vessel.
Justice Gustave Dodin imposed several fines on Madushanka totalling up to R440,000. On Count 1 (fishing without licence) court imposed a fine of R350,000, a fine of R30,000 on Count 2 (tampering with the vessel monitoring devices), a further R30,000 for Count 3 (failing to supply information which is required regarding presence in Seychelles waters) as well as R30,000 on Count 4 (failing to supply information with regard to the missing fishing gears).
Furthermore, Justice Dodin ruled to award R55,080 to the government of Seychelles, who has spent the sum for the upkeep of the convict.
M Madushanka is to pay the total fines and award within 30 days of the date the judgment was delivered. Failing to do so may result in the vessel being seized and sold from which proceeds the fines and award shall be retrieved and the remainder shall then be paid to him.
He reserves the right to appeal against both conviction and sentence within 30 working days.