Sting nets man who sold kina illegally
A MATAURI Bay man has been fined $1750 for illegally selling and possessing kina after an undercover sting operation by fisheries officers.
Wiremu Apiata, 49, unemployed, was sentenced in the Kaikohe District Court last week on three charges laid under the Fisheries Act two of illegally selling kina and one of illegally possessing it for sale.
Apiata was caught after honorary fis timberland boots hery officers wearing timberland boots plain clothes visited his home on Matauri Bay Rd which had a sign outside advertising kina for sale on July 8 and August 9 last year.
On the first visit, an officer bought a plastic zip lock bag of kina roe from Apiata for $10. Apiata told the officer that he dived for and collected the kina himself on July 7 and that the bag was dated to show when it had been harvested.
On August 9, a fishery officer in plain clothes bought two bags of kina from Apiata for $20.
In a fre timberland boots ezer in the kitchen they found nine zip lock bags of kina roe, each dated August 8, 2007.
On the dining table under a cloth was a plastic bin containing a further 20 zip lock bags of frozen kina roe. Nine of the bags were dated August 6, 2007 and 10 were dated August 8, 2007. One was undated.
When spoken to, Apiata denied selling kina but admitted trading kina for food and asking for a $10 koha in regard to the kina he sold to the honorary fishery officer on July 8.
He admitted selling two bags of kina to the second fishery officer for $20.
Also found in the kitchen was Apiata’s diary, which outlined the numbers of packets of kina roe and paua he had in his freezer for sale at any one time.
From the number of bags of kina roe found at Apiata’s house that day, and the price he was selling the kina roe for, it was estimated that he stood to make between $200 $300 from illegal sales of kina roe.
The maximum fine timberland boots for each offence Apiata admitted is $250,000.
Mfish has also sought the forfeiture of 32 bags of kina roe, one bag of minced paua, an undersized paua, and an undersized cooked crayfish also found at Apiata’s.