THREE LORRIES from Mauritania, carrying a total of 29 tonnes of fish headed for Lisbon, were stopped by Albufeira GNR on the Via do Infante on Monday.
The three Moroccan vehicles, which entered the EU through Algeciras in Spain, were stopped near Messines at around 6pm, according to Sanches Silva, Comander of Albufeira’s traffic police.
Customs inspectors from Faro were called to the scene and confirmed a lack of documents from customs at the Spanish border of Algeciras.
After the Autoridade de Segurança Alimentar e Económica (ASAE), the food and economic standards agency were called, inspections took place around 4am before the lorries were taken to the Portimão fishing port on Tuesday for more inspections.
Faro customs inspectors carried out tests on the cargo for cocaine, but none was found.
Belmiro Sá Leal, the lawyer of one of the three Portuguese fish importers, Vasco Louro, said that his client was considering taking legal action against ASAE for abuse of power.
He also said that the fish were kept for too long and his client had made a loss of 18,000 euros. “Only seven tonnes of fish were confiscated from my client, of which only 80 kilograms were damaged because some of the polystyrene boxes had been broken,” said Belmiro Sá Leal.
When asked about his views on the threat of legal action, Manuel dos Santos, regional director of ASAE told daily national newspaper Correio da Manhã: “We must be patient. ASAE will continue to carry out the inspection, fish by fish.”
Do you have a view on this story? Email: [email protected]