Court orders seizure of Sri Lanka boat, slaps MVR 700,000 fine

Three Sri Lankan fishing boats found fishing illegally in Maldives. (File Photo/MNDF)

The Civil Court has ordered the owner of a Sri Lankan vessel found fishing illegally in the Maldives Exclusive Economic Zone to pay an MVR 700,000 fine, and for the state to seize the boat and all its the equipment and devices.

The court issued the ruling on Monday.

The state had filed the case asking the court to establish that Panambarage Sumudu Sampath Fernando, the owner of ‘Sudhisa Putha 2’ – which was caught fishing illegally in Maldives – is required to pay the fine amount stated in the penalty notice sent to him by the Fisheries Ministry on December 13, 2023.

The state filed the lawsuit after Fernando failed to settle the fine.

On Monday, the court established that he needs to pay the MVR 700,000 fine to the Fisheries Ministry and ordered him to deposit the money to the court within 15 days, starting Monday.

The court also granted the state’s request to seize the boat and its contents.