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12 Chinese jailed for illegal fishing in Philippines

Published on Aug 5, 2014 2:40 PM

MANILA (AFP) - Twelve Chinese fishermen were handed long prison terms on Tuesday for illegal fishing in the Philippines after their ship ran aground on a World Heritage-listed coral reef, a court official said.

The 12 were arrested at the Tubbataha Reef, a marine sanctuary in the western Philippines famed as a pristine dive spot, in April last year after their 48-metre (157-foot) boat hit and badly damaged it.

"The court imposed the maximum punishment of 12 years in prison for the boat captain," Hazel Alaska, clerk of the court that heard the case in the western city of Puerto Princesa, told AFP by telephone.

The written verdict identified the boat captain as Liu Chiangjie.

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