Another paua bust in Wellington
26 July 2004
Ministry of Fisheries Officers raided a house in Taita on Friday evening (23 July) in an operation following the arrest of two men earlier in the week.
Fishery Officers seized 170 kilos of paua meat packed in 10 kilo bags, along with a deep freeze. The commercial value of paua is $100 per kilo so the haul is valued at about $17,000.
"This is a significant find which confirms our information that there are a number of residential and commercial properties throughout Wellington that are being used as storage 'safe houses' for the black market traders," said Ross Thurston, MFish District Compliance Manager at Petone.
Enquiries are continuing in relation to the paua haul and a 32-year old courier driver will be facing charges under the Fisheries Act in relation to the seized 170 kilos of paua.
"Other people may well be prosecuted once Fishery Officers unravel the scope of this black market ring," said Mr Thurston.
Mr Thurston also appealed for public information in relation to the location of other storage locations so that pieces of the jigsaw could be put together. Mr Thurston said, "We are determined to put these fish thieves out of business so that paua stocks are there for the future."
For further information please contact: