A French court has fined two Romanians 500 euros each for illegally picking 266 kilograms of wild mushrooms in a forest in eastern France, a report said.
The pair are expected to appeal the ruling, national news agency Agerpres reported, citing AFP French news agency
The two men, aged 22 and 60 did not attend the trial, and pleaded guilty to gathering 266 kilograms of porcini from the in the Corbenay forest. They were in charge of a group of 40 other Romanians who were paid 3 euros an hour to gather the mushrooms, the report said.
They face a separate trial on charges they trafficked vulnerable people to pick the mushrooms.
Individuals are allowed to pick up to 5 kilograms of porcini which are considered a delicacy from the Haute-Saone region in eastern France, near the border with Switzerland and Germany. Any amount above 10 kilograms is considered a misdemeanor.
“They picked astronomic quantities,” said Stephane Clement, who was prosecuting. He called for a three-month suspended prison sentence for each of the men.
They were arrested in October with ten other people. Authorities confiscated a total of 400 kilograms of mushrooms from the group which were allegedly illegally picked in the course of a week. The mushrooms were given to various charities.
Six other people were each ordered to pay a fine of 300 euros.