The Australian Federal Police on Sunday said it arrested three MV Mimosa cargo ship crew members last night for entering a restricted area of the Great Barrier Reef without permission. The arrested men will be appearing in Townsville Magistrates Court tomorrow.
In the statement, the Australian Federal Police, or AFP, said it began the investigation after it received a referral from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority or GBRMPA with regard to Panama-flagged vessel, and federal agents assisted by GBRMPA and Australian Maritime Safety Authority investigators executed a search warrant on the vessel yesterday at Bowen, Queensland. The navigational equipment and charts were seized and the three men were arrested.
The police added the three, a 63-year-old South Korean and two Vietnamese aged 26 and 32, have been charged with offences under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act of 1975 and face a fine of up to A$220 thousand.
Further, the police said it will be alleged in court that MV Mimosa entered the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park via Flinders Passage, east of Cape Bowling Green, which is an unidentified shipping route, on April 4, 2010. The bulk vessel will be further alleged for not registering with Reef Vessel Tracking System or VTS, for failing to provide a pre-entry report and for not responding to contact attempts made by VTS.
by RTT Staff Writer
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