DAKAR Jan 22 Russian shipowners have paid a
fine of 600 million CFA francs ($1.24 million) to Senegal to
free two trawlers seized for fishing illegally off the West
African state, in an incident that stoked diplomatic tensions
The trawlers, the Oleg Naydenov and the Captain Bogomolov,
were seized on Jan. 4 near Senegal's maritime border with
Guinea-Bissau. Russia's Foreign Ministry had immediately sought
an explanation from Senegal for their capture.
"A grouping of Russian shipowners paid 400,000,000 CFA
francs ($827,200) for the Oleg Naydenov and 200,000,000 CFA
francs ($413,600) for the Captain Bogolov," Mayoro Mbaye, a
Senegalese adviser to the Russian shipowners, told Reuters.
A Russian diplomat, who declined to be named, confirmed the
shipowners had paid $1.24 million to the Senegalese treasury to
free their boats.
Illegal fishing, mostly by trawlers from the former Soviet
bloc, costs Senegal an estimated 120 billion CFA francs ($250
million) a year, according to official figures.
Russia's federal fishing agency said that the Oleg Naydenov
trawler had been in the territorial waters of neighbouring
Guinea-Bissau and had not been fishing at the time of its
Russian media quoted its captain, Vadim Mantorov, as
complaining about what he called an excessive use of force by
(Reporting By Diadie Ba; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Ralph