One of Seychelles’ biggest drug busts: 3 Seychellois men get 30 years prison time
Two Seychellois brothers, Fabio and Dario Soopramanien, and their co-conspirator Gerard Bastienne, accused in one of the biggest cases of drug trafficking and importation as well as human trafficking, were sentenced on Friday by the Supreme Court of Seychelles.
Chief Justice Rony Govinden handed down the sentences to the three men that will result in 30 years imprisonment for them for four counts under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2016 and Prohibition in Trafficking in Persons Act 2014.
The case involved the trafficking and importation of heroin – that the men threw overboard their vessel in October 2021, but traces could be found in packets recovered from the ocean – and 130.58 kilogrammes of cannabis resin that were also retrieved.
In his judgment, Govinden noted that this is “one of the biggest busts of cannabis resin in the history of this country. The negative impact of these drugs on our society, if they had entered the drug market, cannot be overstated”
The total years in prison and fines from all four counts against the convicts amount to 70 years and SCR 1.3 million ($91,000) for Fabio Soopramanien, 68 years and SCR 1.1 million ($77,000) for Dario Soopramanien and 65 years and SCR 1 million ($70,000) for Gerard Bastienne. However, they will serve the prison sentences concurrently for 30 years, which they received for their most serious drug importation offence.
If the fines are not paid within 14 days, the men will have to serve another five years in prison, again concurrently.
Govinden also ordered that the victim of human trafficking, Andy Bistoquet, be compensated with SCR 500,000 ($35,000) from the fines paid by the convicts.
Meanwhile, 11 Iranian nationals – Phir Baksh Balochi, Qadir Baksh, Mohammad Baksh, Mohammad Bomarie, Sha Dosth, Avid Boluzai, Abdul Qadi-Khani Nahad, Nasir Khaki-Nahad, Noor Baksh Boluzai, Mohammed Khaki-Nahad and Sameer Bazdar – are charged with human trafficking for agreeing to transport Bistoquet on a dhow to Iran as a drug guarantee. They are still on remand and await sentencing.