Criminal eel

In accordance with the rules of fishing the use of one or various fishing tackles with the total number of hooks exceeding ten pieces is prohibited. However, a resident of Braslav town Valery Labut made up his mind to ignore this rule.

During a September day he set on Snudy lake not ten, but rather 143 self made hook tackles (“kalabashkas”). In the next morning he took the out of the lake along with 25 eels, but fishing out of eels by amateur fishermen is prohibited.

The violator was detected and arrested by employees of the department of operative reaction of the State Inspectorate. The legal bodies qualified its actions in part 4 of article 281 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus as an illegal fishing entailing the loss in an especially big amount.

The court of Braslav region considered the criminal case and set the punishment for Valeri Labut in the form of two years of imprisonment. However, it was taken into account that the criminal proceedings were instituted against him for the first time, and before hearings in the court he had paid off the loss in the amount of 125 basic values. Execution of the appointed punishment was delayed by two years. The illegally caught eels are put to the benefit of the state, and hook tackles were destroyed.

The court of Molodechno region took a decision in relation of two fishermen Oleg Chernyavsky and Sergei Shevchenko who stole 63 big eels during its marketable fishing on Narochanka-river.

Actions of Chernyavsky and Shevchenko were qualified according to part 2 of article 205 of the Criminal Code of Belarus as a secret property theft committed by a group of persons. Within the frameworks of this article the court appointed a punishment for the guilty persons in the form of one year of correctional works along with retention of 20% of earnings to the benefit of the state. 63 eels of the total weight of 63 kg were given to the State Unitary Enterprise “Narochanski”.

The desire of fishing the eel prompted a Gomel resident Sergei Shchukin to overcome a long distance from Gomel to the lake Naroch.

Understanding that eel fishing is prohibited for amateurs-fishermen, he, nevertheless, hoped that nobody would find him under water and having an aqualung. He “shot” 15 eels by means of a fish-spear.

The poacher was astonished, when state inspectors appeared in front of him on the bank. Non-availability of a certificate of the under-water hunter and a member’s certificate of the republican state public union “BOOR”, the use of a fish-spear, which is the prohibited fishing tackle, eel fishing – this is the list of violations provided to the violator of the nature saving legislation.

State Inspectorate, illegal eel catching

The court of Myadel region acknowledged Shchukin guilty in the illegal fishing without a proper permit, by using prohibited tackles entailing the loss in a big amount (75 basic values), and on the basis of part 2 of article 281 of the Criminal Code of Belarus the court appointed punishment in the form of a fine in the amount of 120 basic values. He is ought to fully compensate the loss caused to the nature. The court has also decided to confiscate two aqualungs “Ukraine-2”, a buoy, a hydraulic suit, a helmet, high boots, flippers, a mask for underwater swimming, a reducer for the aqualung, a compass, a belt with weights and 15 eels.

Residents of Myadel region Gennady Molchan and Andrei Brestsky will have to bring by 350 basic values each to the state treasury house – this is the decision of the court of Myadel region in relation to these citizens, who fished eels on the lake Naroch with the use of aqualungs, and who were arrested by a raid group of the State Inspectorate.

For the first time they got six eels by using a fish-spear and a so called “electrical fishing-rod”. It should be pointed out that the amount of the loss caused to the environment is calculated in accordance with the rates approved by the Decree of the President No. 580, dated December 8, 2005. When tackles for fishing are used based on application of the electromagnetic field, the loss is to be compensated on the basis of the rates fivefold for every individual fish. Therefore, in this case the loss constituted 150 basic values.

After that they got seven eels with the aid of a fish-spear, and being so, the loss constituted 35 basic values.
As the amount of the caused loss was compensated during the proceedings in the court, this fact and a number of other cases served as extenuating circumstances, and that is why the court applied article 70 of the Criminal Code of Belarus and appointed a smaller punishment than is stipulated by the sanction of 4 of article 281 of the Criminal Code of Belarus (imprisonment by six years).

Material evidences in the case – a “Pella” boat with oars, a “Veterok” engine for the boat and a fuel tank for it, two hydraulic suites, two aqualungs ABM-1, two echo sounders with storage batteries were confiscated for the benefit of the state.

Material is prepared in association with journalists of the Narodnaya Gazeta.