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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Five arrests over 250 tonne salmon swindle

Five people have been charged over their alleged roles in the theft of up to 250 tonnes of salmon – valued at more than $4 million – from a processing plant in Sydney’s south-west.

In a statement, NSW Police say they were contacted by the executive of a salmon farming and processing company in relation to possible coordinated criminal conduct of employees.

“Detectives from Campbelltown City Police Area Command were told the company had conducted an internal audit, which revealed a significant reduction in the output of product through their processing plant at Ingleburn,” NSW Police said.

It was determined that on average, about 600kg of salmon product was unaccounted for each day.

“As part of inquiries, detectives attended the Ingleburn plant just after midday on Sunday, 20 December and spoke with a number of employees at the completion of their shift and located two female employees who had allegedly stolen salmon products from the plant,” police said.

The women – aged 30 and 31 – will face larceny charges in Campbelltown Local Court next month.

Detectives attended the plant a second time, three days later, and arrested two men – aged 32 and 49 – who were taken to Campbelltown Police Station.

“The 32-year-old Minto man was charged with steal property as clerk/servant ($5000-$15,000),” Police said.

“The 49-year-old Cabramatta man was charged with steal property as clerk/servant (more than $15,000).”

Both men were granted strict conditional bail and are due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court today.

Detectives also arrested a third man following his arrival into Sydney Airport from Perth, about 7.15pm the same day. 

The 30-year-old Belmore man was taken to Mascot Police Station, where he was charged with steal property as clerk/servant (more than $15,000). 

He was granted strict conditional bail and is due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on February 1.

“Police will allege in court that the syndicate used their roles within the company to falsely grade premium salmon products as waste, which was then removed from the plant and transported for on-sale or traded for other product,” NSW Police said.

“In total, more than 250 tonnes of salmon were allegedly stolen between June and December 2020, which would have an estimated retail value of more than $4 million.”

The company has terminated the employment of all five people.

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