Auckland food wholesaler fined $60,000 for selling banned fish

12:35 pm on 30 July 2020

An Auckland food wholesaler has been fined $60,000 for importing and selling banned fish.

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Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Justice

Khan Brother's Distribution Ltd has been convicted and fined $60,000 in the Waitakere District Court yesterday for knowingly importing and selling unauthorised fish.

Company director Mustafezur Rahman Khan, 38, also known as John Khan, sentenced to six months community detention and 12 months supervision.

He and the company pleaded guilty to two charges each relating to importing and selling Hilsa fish, a Bangladeshi freshwater fish, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said.

This species cannot be imported under New Zealand's biosecurity rules.

Khan had falsely declared that the fish were Indian Sardines (Sardinella longiceps) in order to receive clearance for importation of 3.5 tonnes.

He sold the fish from December 2017 through to July 2018, involving $70,700 in sales and unaccounted for fish, MPI said.

The charges were brought after a biosecurity officer from the Ministry for Primary Industries spotted the fish being sold via Facebook.

Khan's brother, Moshiur (George) Khan, 31, and and his company Khan's 2nd Generation Limited, were convicted and each fined $10,000 for selling the fish.

The brothers run their respective businesses from the same Supavalue food store in Otara.