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Sri Lankan Tuna Exporter Faces High Court On Cheating

Ceylon Fisheries UK Limited (trading as "Ceylon Fisheries") and based in Northampton operated a fish business selling tuna, shell fish and exotic species from Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean region.

A major fish importer that supplied restaurants and fish wholesalers throughout the UK has been wound up in the High Court following an investigation by the Government Companies Investigation Branch.

The investigation found the company traded with a complete lack of commercial integrity and the company's website contained a number of misleading and false statements. Ceylon Fisheries falsely claimed: 1. that it was the fastest growing exotic fish supplier into the UK and Europe; 2 that it owned a fish processing plant in Sri Lanka; and 3. that it owned a fish shop in Northampton.

In addition, the court found that the company copied and pasted content from that of an unrelated American fish market to its own website; did not maintain proper accounting records; and did not operate its own bank account and its finances were intermingled with those of its director.

The investigation also uncovered cash withdrawals from the business approaching £500,000 of which only some £120,000 could be accounted for. The company failed to pay the required statutory levies and there was an unpaid County Court judgment debt against it.

Business Minister, Pat McFadden said afterwards: "We are determined to crack down on companies who cheat honest businesses. The action taken here sends a clear message to would-be fraudsters that they won't get away with it".