Drug trafficking: Seychelles Supreme Court sentences 2 Iranians and 1 Pakistani man to 25 years in prison

General |Author: Betymie Bonnelame | June 27, 2024, Thursday @ 13:09| 3521 views

The Palais de Justice which houses the Supreme Court. (Seychelles News Agency)

(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Supreme Court has sentenced two Iranians and one Pakistani man to 25 years in prison for the importation of illegal drugs.

All three convicts were arrested along with five others by the Seychelles Coast Guard on December 28 last year on board a vessel named Abdullahi, north-east of Denis Island, 60 kilometres north of the main island of Mahe.

The crew had a total of 187.92 kilogrammes of illegal drugs, including 150.95 kilogrammes of hashish, 22.15 kilogrammes of heroin, 12.30 kilogrammes of cannabis, and 2.55 kilogrammes of methamphetamine. They also had GPS equipment, a satellite phone and three mobile phones on board the ship.

The two Iranians, 42-year-old Mohammad Chiray, captain of the vessel, his compatriot Abdul Wahid Raesee, a fisherman, and Pakistani man, Sinkander Baloch, aged 25, all pleaded guilty to 8 counts of charges imposed in January.

Last month, they were found guilty of agreeing with another person to commit the offence of the importation of a controlled drug.

According to the court report, in passing his judgement Chief Justice Rony Govinden, the presiding judge in the case, said although all three pleaded guilty and there were mitigating factors, he identified two aggravating factors under the Misuse of Drugs Act 2016.

He said that the facts of the case clearly show that the convicted persons imported the controlled drugs charged in this case into Seychelles.  

"On the facts, it is clear to the court that the convicted persons acted with common intention and in concert together with the other members of the crew when they imported the controlled drugs into the country.  Hence they acted as a criminal group. The very large amount of controlled drugs also proves the commercial element involved in this crime. The havoc that the drugs would have caused to the society if they had not been intercepted, cannot be understated," said Goviden.

In his ruling, Govinden imposed 25 years on all three convicts for all 8 counts but the sentence will run concurrently. The convicts are not entitled to remission, which is a reduction of a sentence imposed, due to the circumstances of the case.

In a similar case, last year eight Iranians who were sentenced to 20 years in prison by the Seychelles Supreme Court for the importation and conspiracy to import illicit drugs in August 2023, were sent back to Iran.

The Commissioner of Prisons, Raymond St. Ange, made the statement in an interview with the Seychelles Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) on September 4, 2023.

It was the second time that Iranian prisoners had been released and sent back home. 

Tags: Seychelles Coast Guard, Seychelles Supreme Court, Misuse of Drugs Act 2016


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