Five people charged in illegally caught king crab mega-case

King crabsPhoto: Heiko Junge / NTB

Over a ten-year period, a person allegedly traded almost 50 tonnes of illegal king crab catch. He and four others must now appear in East Finnmark District Court.

A total of 52 people have been investigated in the case since the autumn of 2019 when the Finnmark Police District, Økokrim, and other police districts launched the investigation into the systematic sale of illegally caught crab.

“We have uncovered several networks where those involved had different roles, different degrees of involvement, and dealt with different amounts of illegally caught king crab. The cases provide insight into the entire sales chain,” police attorney Are Aarhus in Finnmark Police District noted in a press release on Friday.

Five people charged

The public prosecutors in Troms and Finnmark have filed charges against five people.

The public prosecutors believe that the main defendant has traded 47 tonnes of illegal king crab catch from 2009 to 2019.

Three other people are accused of having collaborated in the sale of 2.3, 3.5, and 6 tonnes of the illegal king crab catch, respectively, in 2019. 

Another person is accused of laundering the proceeds from the sale of illegally caught king crab.

The criminal case will take place for four weeks in East Finnmark District Court in June.

Multiple fines

The investigation has revealed several individual buyers of illegally caught king crab. 

Fines of between NOK 20,000 and NOK 35,000 have been imposed for the purchase of between 40 and 80 kilos of king crab.

Some cases are still under investigation.

“Illegal catching and trading king crab is a serious crime, and it weakens food security for consumers,” Aarhus noted.

Source: #Norway Today, #NorwayTodayNews

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