Human trafficking: Iranian nationals charged in Seychelles, remanded for 14 more days
Eleven Iranian nationals charged with human trafficking in Seychelles have been remanded for a further 14 days by the Supreme Court on Friday.
The men, who are represented by their counsel, Clifford Andre, will reappear in court for their trial on September 20.
The case involved the biggest drug bust in Seychelles of 130.58 kilogrammes of cannabis resin.
Two Seychellois brothers, Fabio and Dario Soopramanien, and their co-conspirator Gerard Bastienne in the case have been sentenced to 30 years imprisonment on four counts under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2016 and Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons Act 2014.
The 11 foreign nationals were intercepted on a dhow outside Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic zone on November 7, 2021, during a joint military operation by the Seychelles Coast Guard in collaboration with the Indian and French navies.
A Seychellois national, Andy Bistoquet, was rescued from the dhow, who had been reported missing since November 7, 2021. Bistoquet was being held captive as a drug guarantee.
The Iranian men are aged between 19 and 50 and if found guilty may face punishment set at a maximum of 14 years imprisonment with a fine of up to $35,457, under the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons Act.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the Western Indian Ocean, has an Exclusive Economic Zone of 1.4 million square kilometres and has stepped up efforts to combat illicit drug trafficking and illegal fishing in its waters.