20 May 2020

Samoan court releases man on charges related to sea cucumbers

11:52 am on 20 May 2020

The District Court in Samoa has released on bail a Chinese man facing one charge of bribing a custom's officer with intent to export a container worth over three million US dollars in sea cucumbers.

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Photo: 123RF

The defendant, Suikei Mayang, was released as the prosecution did not oppose his application for bail.

He was ordered to surrender his travel documents and to sign in twice a week at police headquarters in Apia.

The court heard the defendant was only charged with bribery as a result of the police investigation but a Customs inquiry was still underway.

He was reported to have offered a senior customs official a bribe worth around $US1800.

Mr Mayang will appear again in court on 11 June.

The lucrative sea cucumber trade in China is estimated at nearly $US3 billion a year but it is illegal to export sea cucumbers under Samoan law.