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Ecuadorian Tuna Firm Linked To Money Laundering And Drug Trafficking

Tunidos del Pacifico, an Ecuadorian tuna packing firm, processing canned and pouched tuna is to face a criminal investigation into an accusation that the company has been a part of money laundering and drug trafficking.

Proud to be part of the number one tuna exporting location, situated in Manta, Ecuador, Tunidos del Pacifico says it has great access to numerous varieties of fish and delivers high quality tuna to its customers. 

But when police conducted two separate raids on several companies in the city of Manta, Tunidos del Pacifico was alleged to have been part of money laundering, with possible links to trafficking drugs, and six people will go on trial for the charge.

With main markets such as Southeast Asia, Eastern Asia and Central America and an annual sales volume between USD 2.5 and 5 million, the company outlines its mission in becoming one of the largest exporters of canned tuna, with international recognition in the seafood market, and greater emphasis on value-added products, but the court hearing could obstruct future plans for the business.

Ecuador is reported to be responsible for over half of tuna processing across the Eastern Pacific, with 18 processing plants located in Guayaquil, Posorja and Manta, which together have a total daily raw material processing capacity of around 1,865 metric tons daily.

The financial transactions under investigation are said to exceed USD 98 million, where research conducted by police uncovered that the company had established several fish trading businesses in order to hide the true source of the significant flows of money.

Judge Carlos Eduardo Cruzatty, who will lead the trial, said that two of the six people arrested are wanted by international police from Portugal and the United States for the crime of international drugs trafficking.

Tunidos del Pacifico sells canned and pouched tuna on the local and international market, and say they are renowned for the quality of their products.