More Netted In Strike Against Paua Black Market
04 April 2002
Fishery Officers in Christchurch and Dunedin today moved against another group of people allegedly involved in sending black market paua out of New Zealand using tour parties.
Half a tonne of paua meat, with a retail value of $80,000 was seized in the operation, code-named Black Ice, along with three vehicles.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Fisheries said the operation, which started in Christchurch last October, targeted two separate Asian groups who were actively involved in the black market purchase of paua. Both groups were sending the illegal paua out of New Zealand via tour parties.
The first of the groups was apprehended during the nationwide Operation Pacman last month.
The second group, dealt with today, was coordinated through Christchurch and used Asian students as couriers uplifting poached paua and delivering to tour parties, either at hotels in Christchurch or directly to the airport.
Two homes in Christchurch, along with one home and commercial premises in Dunedin were searched today, and at one address approximately 500 kgs of paua meat contained in large chest freezers was located.
At this stage it is expected that charges will be laid against three people.
For further information please contact:
John Slaughter, Ministry of Fisheries, Christchurch Tel. (03) 358 0816