Johannesburg - A convicted Hout Bay businessman Arnold Bengis has been ordered by a United States court to pay nearly R295 million restitution to South Africa, The Star newspaper reported on Monday.
The order was issued by the US court on Friday and included Bengis' son David and his former business partner Jeffrey Noll.
The court ordered Bengis, 77, David, 43, and Noll, 62, to pay for exporting illegal large amounts of West Coast rock lobster from South Africa to the US.
This was the largest order of its kind, according to the report.
Because the trio had already paid the South African government about R70m as part of another criminal case, they would now have to pay the remaining R224m.
Desmond Stevens acting head of fisheries at the department of agriculture, forestry and fisheries said government initially wanted more than R537m restitution, but was overjoyed by what the US court had ordered.
According to US court papers, Noll and Bengis headed two US firms that imported, processed, packaged and distributed the fish on behalf of Hout Bay Fishing Industries.
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