Massive seafood fraud rocks Noble House
--- company loses 'tens of millions' each year
Guyana Chronicle
June 19, 2004

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THE management of Noble House Seafoods Limited says it has discovered evidence of a massive fraud being perpetuated against the company involving theft and sale of the company's shrimp and fish to unauthorized persons.

Noble House Seafoods estimates losing tens of millions of dollars annually from the alleged fraud.

The company, in a press release yesterday, said it has been in consultation with private trawler owners and seafood processors in an effort to take preventative action, and has decided to terminate the services of several trawler captains and crewmembers so as to protect itself.

These actions are "necessary steps in the restructuring of the operations and the fleet of the trawlers at this time," the company said.

The Guyana Police Force has been notified about the activity, which the Noble House Seafoods statement described as an "elaborate scheme" that involves numerous players, some with links to the 'underworld'. The matter is being investigated.

Noble House Seafoods said the recent seizure at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport, Timehri, of narcotics concealed in frozen fish is also a cause for concern, as it would appear that entire fishing industry is being targeted as a facilitator of this activity.

In view of the delicacy of the industry, in terms of penetrating and maintaining foreign markets, and the vulnerabilities involved in international trade, the company said it would be doing every thing legally within its power to protect itself from fraud infiltration.