Mexican Billionaire, Ricardo Salinas Pliego, whose luxury yacht anchored on the reef on April seventh, has been ordered to pay the price. According to information reaching News Five, the damage tallied up to the tune of eight hundred thousand U.S. dollars, which Salinas Pliego committed to pay on Holy Thursday before he sailed away. But the Easter holiday came along and the payment was postponed to this week. When contacted by phone today, Chief Environmental Officer, Martin Alegria, who is currently on vacation, told us that Salinas Pliego was expected to make payment at the Central Bank either on Thursday or today. But up to news time, no one can confirm if he has paid up. The Department of the Environment determined the amount of the fine based on the damaged area of the coral reef which measured twenty-five by forty-five meters. Salinas Pliego was reportedly supplied with that information, accepted liability and agreed to make payment.
The Mexican billionaire was never actually arrested. He and his family remained on the yacht but the captain, forty-nine year old Salvador Villeras Eckart of Cancun, Mexico was detained. And as to why the ship anchored on the reef in the first place, Villeras Eckart has stated that the vessel was drifting towards the reef after a rope tangled in the propeller, causing it to shut down. He says that he had to drop anchor to avoid running aground. Salinas Pliego owns the Mexican television station, Azteca and the chain off appliance stores, Electra.