NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Black fish scam: £1.1m confiscation orders for Peterhead fishermen

Four fishermen who admitted their part in a major black fish scam in Peterhead have been hit with confiscation orders totalling more than £1.1m.

Ian Buchan, 55, master of the Quantas trawler, faced the largest order, being told to pay £1m.

There were also orders of £99,000 for 55-year-old James Duthie; £64,612 for 49-year-old Stephen Bellany; and £23,669 for Oswald McRonald, 64.

They had previously pled guilty to landing undeclared fish.

The offences happened at Fresh Catch Ltd and Alexander Buchan Ltd between 2002 and 2005.

'Staggering amounts'

Following the hearing at the High Court in Edinburgh, Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC said: "Serious and organised crime can take many forms and these individuals were involved in significant organised criminality.

"They put their own financial gain first and sought to obtain staggering amounts of money with blatant disregard for the impact such large-scale overfishing would have.

"Our message is very clear that there is no place in Scotland for those who want a lifestyle funded by crime."

The men are due to be sentenced on 16 July.

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