A massive police operation in Puerto Montt, Los Lagos region of Chile dismantled a criminal organization that had been operating in the area for years by stealing salmonid products unfit for human consumption and then selling them in well-known markets locally.
According to Chilean media, some 30 people were detained and a number of vehicles, boats and millions of sums of money were seized following the operation that involved more than 150 detectives.
The crimes were highly organized, with the criminals following “established processes and a well-defined structure,” which led to the arrest of the suspects who participated in the theft, processing and commercialization of the stolen salmonid products.
Twenty-nine buildings in the provinces of Osorno and Llanquihue were raided and millions of dollars in cash, vehicles, trucks and even a boat were confiscated. Ammunition and other unspecified items used in the illicit operations were also seized.
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The rise in the number of criminal activity involving theft of salmon products comes as salmon price reached record levels this year.