Businessman fined $1.2 million and 15 months over abalone trade

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Posted by on July 20, 2006 at 20:09:25:

In Reply to: Australia: believe in punishment for abalone poachers posted by on July 18, 2006 at 23:39:53:

A Queensland businessman has been fined a record $1.2 million for his role in an elaborate abalone trading ring.

David Wei Meng Lee was been found guilty in Hobart's Criminal Court of five counts of illegally possessing abalone.

Between August 2001 and March 2002 the 49-year-old received consignments of dried abalone from Tasmania at his Gold Coast seafood retail outlet.

Lee is one of 17 people who were charged as a result of a police surveillance program known as Operation Oakum.

The $1.2 million fine is the largest penalty imposed on any of them.

In handing down the fine, Justice Shan Tennant said she thought it unlikely Lee would be able to pay it all.

Lee was also sentenced to 15 months in jail.

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