News Criminal Defence 6th Mar 2020

Martin Hicks QC secures suspended sentence for seafood trader who smuggled £53million of endangered eels from UK to the Far East over 2 year period

GK, 66, transported rare elvers from London to Hong Kong hidden underneath other fish in 14 separate consignments between 2015 and 2017. He was caught after Border Force officers found 200kg of the European “glass eels” (Anguilla anguilla), which are critically endangered (CITES Appendix II), at Heathrow airport in the first seizure of its kind in the UK.

The prosecution said he smuggled contrary to the EC prohibition, more than five million elvers with an estimated retail value of more than £53m.

At trial he was found guilty of three counts of failure to notify movement of animals and three counts of evasion of a prohibition or restriction on the export of goods at Southwark Crown Court.

Following defence submissions GK was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment suspended for 2 years and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Martin led Tom Godfrey and Gabriella Fearns instructed by Hannah Sampson of the Murrays Partnership.

More details can be found here.

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