Sunday, October 28, 2012

Woman fined for buying paua

A former restaurateur has been fined for twice buying black market paua. Qunying Liu's defence lawyer, Tony Thackery, told Palmerston North District Court yesterday that he was troubled as it appeared that minorities were being picked on. An undercover Fisheries Ministry worker sold Liu paua and two rock lobsters on June 23 and paua on October 9, 2009. It was part of an operation called "Deep Six" in the Whanganui region. At the time, Liu owned and operated the Hong Kong Restaurant and Takeaways on Ridgeway St, Whanganui, although the 48-year-old is now jobless. Mr Thackery said businesses like Liu's were targeted and "that's a notion that [I] struggle with because the end result is the people targeted tended to be people from minority groups." On June 23, Liu paid $50 for 5kg of paua and two rock lobsters. The paua was valued at $650. On the latter occasion, he paid $80 for 10kg of paua, worth $1300. Mr Thackery said none of the paua was sold at the restaurant. It took some time for the prosecution to get to court because Liu had returned to China to look after her sick mother. Judge Gregory Ross fined her $2600. Seven people were prosecuted as a result of the ministry sting. - © Fairfax NZ News JIMMY ELLINGHAM Last updated 12:00 16/02/2012

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