Indian sailors jailed in Somalia over illegal charcoal

Mogadishu (Keydmedia) - A Mogadishu court jailed 14 Indian sailors for a year for illegally exporting charcoal, court sources said Sunday.
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The sailors were arrested last week by Somali coast guards. Nine of the 14 were present in court on Saturday.

"The court sentenced 14 Indian sailors and a Somali woman" who was the owner of the charcoal, judge Hashi Elmi Nur told AFP, adding that the sailors could avoid serving the prison term by paying $10,000 (7,500 euros).

In their defence, lawyer Hassan Abdule Farayare argued that because the charcoal had been exported from zones controlled by Islamic insurgents, the court was not competent to try the case.

"The boat and the crew members are not guilty because they exported charcoal from areas the government does not control," he said.

It was the first time that a court had tried foreign nationals for illegally exporting charcoal.

Charcoal is an important source of revenue for the country

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