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Black fish payback

FOUR Scottish fishermen have been ordered to pay back more than £1 million for their part in a black fish scam in Peterhead.

The men were arrested as part of Operation Trawler, which has already seen 17 skippers fined for landing black fish at Lerwick’s Shetland Catch factory.

On Friday Edinburgh High Court Ian Buchan, 55 year old master of the Qantas, was told to pay a confiscation order of £1 million, one of the largest ever made against an individual in Scotland.

Fellow Qantas skipper Oswald McRonald, aged 64, must pay £23,669; Sunbeam master James Duthie, aged 55, must pay £99,000; while Unity skipper Stephen Bellamy must fork out £64,612.

The men all pled guilty to landing herring and mackerel illegally at Fresh Catch Ltd and Alexander Buchan Ltd in Peterhead between 2002 and 2005.

Shetland Catch is fighting an attempt to force them to pay more than £6 million they are alleged to have made from illegal landings over the same three year period.

Confiscation proceedings against six further north east skippers and against Fresh Catch have been continued until 16 July.

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