Sandra is a senior crimes and justice reporter for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Black market seafood ring accused back in court

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Five of the seven Western Bay defendants facing charges relating to their alleged involvement in a black-market fisheries ring appeared in court today. Photo/File
Five of the seven Western Bay defendants facing charges relating to their alleged involvement in a black-market fisheries ring appeared in court today. Photo/File

Lawyers for the Western Bay defendants allegedly involved in a black market seafood ring have been granted extra time to go through the prosecution evidence.

In Tauranga District Court today, Judge Christopher Harding was told by the respective lawyers they needed four more weeks to go through the "thirty 100mm thick folders" of disclosure materials received from the Ministry of Primary Industries.

Some of that disclosure had only been received in the past two weeks, the judge heard.

Judge Harding granted the request and remanded all matters to September 5 for a further case review hearing.

The judge told the lawyers he expected on that day they would be in position to progress matters.

The seven accused are: Tauranga food business D.Lish Limited, Anthony Karauria Jackson, Lee Rhona Wells, Hira Cyril Noble, Luana Maree Noble, Pixie Urupikia Wells, and Sevyn-Leigh Jackson.

The defendants are facing charges relating to their alleged involvement in a black market fisheries ring centred around Motiti Island.

The offences are alleged to have been committed between October 2014 and November last year.

Anthony Jackson and Lee Wells, both of Motiti, have denied illegally selling paua and kina.

Hira Noble, Luana Noble, and D.Fish Limited have pleaded not guilty to illegally receiving and possessing paua and kina, with the intention of obtaining a benefit.

Sevyn-Leigh Jackson and Pixie have also denied illegally possessing minced paua and selling kina roe.

Pixie Wells had her attendance excused yesterday, while an arrest warrant was issued for Sevyn-Leigh Jackson because she failed to attend court.

But, Judge Harding said the warrant could lie in court until September 5.

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