The saga of the five Egyptian fishermen, who were arrested last week in the north over 'illegal fishing activities' appears to have come to an end with a Turkish Cypriot judge fining them €500.
According to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), citing Turkish Cypriot reports, a Kyrenia judge imposed a fine of 3,500 lira on each of the five fishermen who faced charges of illegal entry and unlicenced fishing.
The men were apprehended by Turkish Cypriot Coast Guard officials on Friday evening, September 21, about 7.5 nautical miles off the northern coast while on board a vessel flying a Republic of Cyprus flag.
Republic of Cyprus officials in the south were calling last week for the men’s immediate release and mounted a campaign through the United Nations to protest the arrest including the confiscation of the boat named “Yia Sou Kaiki Mou Ai Nikola.”
Officials were said to have found evidence of what they described as “illegal fishing” including 10 swordfish and 12 stacks of mackerel. No information about the vessel was made available immediately following the ruling. It was understood that the men could walk free upon paying the fine.