Peter Glenser QC and Sean Sullivan secure conviction of £53 million eel smuggler in first of a kind prosecution

07 February 2020

After an eleven day trial, prosecuted by Peter Glenser QC and Sean Sullivan, Gilbert Khoo has been convicted of six offences relating to the illegal import and export of critically endangered European eels.

Mr. Khoo was importing eels from Spain and France without giving the legally required notice. He then stored and repackaged them in Gloucestershire in advance of exporting them to the Far East where they would be grown and eventually consumed.

European eels are considered so endangered that they are subject to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and there is a strict prohibition on exporting them to outside of the European Union.

Mr. Khoo's offending spanned a two year period and involved 16 prohibited exports consisting of over 5 million elvers with an eventual retail value in the Far East of over £53 million.

Peter and Sean were instructed by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division after an investigation conducted by the National Crime Agency. This is believed to be the first such prosecution within England & Wales.

Mr. Khoo will be sentenced on 6th March at Southwark Crown Court.

See report here