Notorious crab poaching case ready for trial by Russian court

February 12, 2009 16:32

The Investigation Committee (SK) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation has completed investigation of notorious king crab poaching case which is now ready for trial, reports www.fishnet-russia.com (www.fishnet.ru) with reference to Commersant.

The accused US citizen Arkady Gontmacher and his partners (all of Russian/former USSR origin) are reportedly planning to plead non-guilty but rather defend themselves against the accusation that they masterminded the virtual destruction of the Kamchatka king' crab stock.

According to Commersant, Gontmacher and his partners have been accused of criminal activities related to the stealing of massive amounts of king crab, namely 21,000 tonnes versus the company's quota of 1500 tonnes in 2006 and 15,000 tonnes versus the quota of 2600 tonnes in 2007. The total damage to the national resources is estimated at 545 million USD.

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