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Prison for ship surveyor who lied to Coast Guard

21 months in prison A Miami-based ship surveyor was sentenced today for lying to the Coast Guard and for falsely certifying that inspections had been performed on two ships, which were designed to ensure that the ships were seaworthy and did not pose a threat to the crew or the marine environment.Alejandro Gonzalez, 60, of Miami-Dade County, Fla., was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida to 21 months in prison.On May 24, 2012, a federal jury found Gonzalez guilty of lying to a Coast Guard inspector and a federal agent about the drydocking of the M/V Cala Galdana, a 68-meter cargo vessel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in April 2009 and December 2009.Coast Guard inspectors in San Juan discovered the vessel taking on water in August of 2008 and requested the last drydocking of the vessel. Gonzalez concocted a false story about the vessel being drydocked in Colombia in 2006 when he knew it was not. Gonzalez repeatedly claimed the vessel had been drydocked in Cartegena, Colombia, in March of 2006, while evidence at the trial proved conclusively that the vessel was never in Colombia during 2006.Gonzalez was also convicted of falsifying documents for the ...

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24 years sentences for Somali pirates in France

Somali pirates found guilty of hijacking French vessel Somali pirates who were found guilty of hijacking the French vessel Le Ponant in 2008 have been sentenced to a total of 24 years imprisonment by a Paris court.Of the six Somali pirates, who were captured by French forces in a daring raid on land, with a 4x4 vehicle, arms and a part of the ransom, two were acquitted. One was sentenced to serve four years but this was negated by his detention on remand since April, 2008. All three had protested their innocence.Two others were sentenced to seven years imprisonment and the remaining pirate, who admitted participating in the whole operation, was told he must serve ten years. It is, as yet, unclear whether the jail terms will be served in France or using the facilities of cooperating jurisdictions in the East African Region.Commenting on the judgements, Alastair Evitt, Chairman of the shipping industry anti-piracy group SOS SaveOurSeafarers says; "This is encouraging news. There are about 3,500 criminals active in these pirate gangs. All too often, when they are captured by security forces, confusion over admissible evidence or legal and international diplomatic complexities mean that they are set free to offend ...

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