A file photo of legally caught crayfish from Lake Vättern in 2010.
A file photo of legally caught crayfish from Lake Vättern in 2010. Credit: Mikael Fritzon/TT

Police uncover fishy business in southern Sweden

Nine people are in custody in Växjö, suspected of illegally fishing crayfish and pike-perch in lakes before selling it on for hundreds of thousands of kronor.

Robert Loeffel is a spokesperson for the police in Region south. He says it is a very complex case.

"I have worked with the police for almost 35 years and I don't think I have ever heard of a case of serious fishing crimes in lakes, that is as big as this," he told Swedish Radio.

The nine are suspected of being part of a well-organised ring, which during the summer has been fishing at night in several lakes in southern Småland, Blekinge and northern Skåne. Police have confiscated equipment which appears to have been used in large-scale fishing.

"We found ice machines to keep the fish on ice during transport, we found five to six rubber boats with electric motors that have been used to go fishing at night. We have also confiscated a lorry equipped with a cooling mechanism suitable for transporting food," said Robert Loeffel.

In the ongoing investigation, police have been trying to map out where the fish have been sold on to, but it seems the fish mainly remained in Sweden. It was people at the Gothenburg fish auction that first alerted the police, after they became suspicious.

A trial is expected to start in just over a weeks' time. The majority of those in custody have denied any wrongdoing, reports Swedish Radio.

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