Fish smoking craftsmen

State inspectors and police officers have cracked down on illicit fish dealers.

Close cooperation has been maintained between subdivisions of The State Inspectorate on Wildlife Protection under the President of the Republic of Belarus and bodies of the Ministry of the Interior in many areas of activity of both departments. These areas are environmental issues, illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition, and other mutual professional concerns. For example, in October the fast response groups of The State Inspectorate together with the officers of the Office for Combating Corruption and Economic Crimes of the Department of the Interior of the Executive Committee of Minsk conducted operational activities aimed at curbing the illicit trade in freshwater fish in Myadelsky District.

With the authorization of the public prosecutor of Minsk District the participants of the operation carried out an inspection of the houses of eight residents of the district, who smoked and sold freshwater fish. During operational and investigative activities 218 kilograms of frozen freshwater fish were seized from the dealers. Among the fish there were the following species: silver carp, tench, pike and eel, amateur fishing of the last being illicit.

Besides, the breakers of the environmental law kept possession of illicit amateur fishing equipment and outfit: four fishing nets, two harpoons, three heat-insulated wetsuits for underwater hunting and breathing apparatus for staying underwater.

Criminal proceedings have been initiated according to part 1 Article 233 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (illicit business activities involving profits on a large scale) against one of the offenders, who has previous convictions for destructive behavior and counterfeiting and currently is officially unemployed. It was determined that the dealer illegally earned 9.4 million rubles from selling smoked fish (ell, pollan, European carp and other species) to physical persons from June 2008 till October 2009. Now he is legally obliged to return the illicit earnings to the national treasury and may be liable for criminal offence. According to the abovementioned article the person who is guilty of pseudo-enterpreneurship shall be punished by a fine or by imprisonment not exceeding three years.

At the same time when the inspection of the legality of fish selling was conducted along the highway Brest–Moscow near Zaseki village Berezovsky District, the officers of The Inspectorate on Wildlife Protection of Berezovsky District faced an act of disobedience. A mail born in 1961 refused state inspectors’ demands when he was selling fish at an inappropriate site and was alcohol intoxicated. As a result an action was brought against him according to two articles of the Administrative Offences Code: violation of trade regulations and disobedience to a public officer on duty.