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Russian sailors suspected of poaching in Australia to return home

MOSCOW, October 5 (RIA Novosti, Ivan Zakharchenko) - Australian immigration authorities have granted six Russian sailors, detained in September on suspicion of poaching, permission to return home, the Russian Consulate General in Sydney said Wednesday.

The sailors were arrested September 6 on the Taruman trawler off the Australian coast. The vessel, sailing under the Cambodian flag, had a crew of 31.

Australian media reported that fishing inspectors found 130 metric tons of illegally caught fish, mainly patagonian toothfish, on board.

The sailors have been held in a detention center near Hobart, the capital of Tasmania, where living conditions are comfortable, the Consulate General said.

A court ruled September 29 that the sailors, who had been technicians onboard the boat, were not guilty of poaching.

The sailors will return to St. Petersburg via Frankfurt October 6-10.

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