Scam skipper told to pay up £341,000

Victor Buschini's boat Etnerprise

Victor Buschini's boat Etnerprise

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A member of a Fylde coast fishing family who was part of an illegal scam is to have £341,000 of his assets seized.

Victor Buschini (below), 51, will also face a fine next year after he pleaded guilty to false declaration of fish landings from his trawler Enterprise.

Victor Buschini

Victor Buschini

He was among 17 skippers who were ordered to pay a total of almost £3m.

Buschini, of Kiln Lane, Hambleton, worked out of Fraserburgh in Scotland with his partner Hamish Slater, 52, of Strichan Road, Fraserburgh who has been told to pay £425,900, the largest of the orders.

Buschini’s order was the third largest.

The pair had exceeded their herring and mackerel quotas between 2002 and 2005.

The orders were made under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Fish processing company Shetland Catch Ltd has also pleaded guilty to helping to make the illegal landings, but whether they will face confiscation has yet to be decided.

The company, which is now under new ownership, helped to land the so-called “black fish” between February 2003 and March 2005.

In October last year the court heard Buschini had undeclared landings worth £3,240,621 – 35 per cent of the fish he brought ashore and Slater had undeclared landings of £994,941 – 35 per cent of his landings.

The judge, Lord Turnbull described it as “a sophisticated and commercial operation”.

Buschini and Slater had admitted breaching Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Control Measures (Scotland) Order 2000 and the 1981 Fisheries Act.

They also pleaded guilty to “knowingly or recklessly” furnishing information which was false concerning landings. The next court hearing will be on January 23.

Buschini is the son of the late Victor Buschini Snr, who was acknowledged as one of Britain’s master fishermen.