5 charged over $4 million salmon theft at processing facility

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Police investigating after audit discovered a reduction of about 600 kilograms a day.

In a statement on Monday, New South Wales Police allege that the five workers deliberately mislabelled premium salmon pieces as waste before selling them or trading them for other products. The theft involves up to to 250 tonnes of salmon, valued at more than AUD 4 million. The workers have been fired from the company.

In December 2020, police were contacted by the executive of the salmon farming and processing company in relation to the possible coordinated criminal conduct of employees.

Police have released more details on the five people, due to appear at Campbelltown Local Court on Monday.

The publication writes that an audit led by an executive found that 600 kilograms per day in output from the Huon Aquaculture Ingleburn plant was missing. Police say that this was between June and December 2020.

Additional reporting from the Sydney Morning Herald features Campbelltown City Detective acting Inspector Graeme Napier who said: “It looks like [the theft] averaged 600 kilos a day from the processing facility. Now we think most likely that happened on large lots over a couple of days, as opposed to 600 [kilograms] every day,” he said.

“Not often does Campbelltown investigate matters involving fish. It shows that it doesn’t matter what the crime is, it will still get investigated.”

Inquiries are continuing, police said.