Importer of Belizean Lobster Faces $5 Million Fine and Probation for Labeling Fraud

Importer of Belizean Lobster Faces $5 Million Fine and Probation for Labeling Fraud

An importer of Belize’s lobster is facing harsh consequences after a federal judge in Key West Florida, ordered that Elite Sky International, Inc. pay five million dollars in fines, plus be placed on a 5-year probation.  The judgment follows findings that the company was exporting inaccurately labeled spiny lobster and shark fins from Florida to China.  According to court documents, the illegal activities took place over a span of approximately one year, from November 2018 to October 2019. During this time, Elite engaged in the purchase of seafood products intended for export to China. In an attempt to meet the growing demand for spiny lobster, the company resorted to importing lobster from Nicaragua and Belize, subsequently re-exporting these products to China.  International reports have noted that the severity of the sentencing, both in terms of the monetary fine and probation duration, underscores the gravity of the offenses committed by Elite Sky International. Additionally, they note that the falsification of product labels not only jeopardizes the integrity of the seafood industry but also raises concerns about the impact on consumer trust and the potential environmental consequences.

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