Home ECONOMY Scam over 10,750kg ‘ghost’ octopus produced in a Galician town

Scam over 10,750kg ‘ghost’ octopus produced in a Galician town

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In a file photo, a specimen of an octopus destined for food.
In a file photo, a specimen of an octopus destined for food.monica torres

For Jose Benito RB, who lives in the city of Pontevedra, Tomino, the plan fell from heaven. Without looking for it, in 2019, he was approached by Antoine Abbe et Fils, a French company dedicated to importing fish. The company was looking for an octopus supplier and after searching the web, found the company TL Peche Simple, which was registered by the Spanish in Mauritania. Without hesitation, Jose Benito RB convinced them that he was the person they were yearning for. He not only promised them the product they wanted, but he lured them with “pie in the sky” and future business (including if they buy part of his company). After several visits to African countries and the Canary Islands, in which he entertained her, the relationship reached such trust that, finally, he placed her first major order: 10,750 kilos of octopus, for which he paid around 100,000 euros. But the goods never arrived.

Almost four years after the episode and after a long battle in the courts, José Benito RB has sat on the bench of the National Court this February. And he hasn’t done very well. The court sentenced him to two years in prison, to pay a fine of 1,080 euros and to pay back the money (with interest) he had received from the French company for the octopus, which he never had. Although he could still appeal, the magistrates had no doubt that he had committed the offense of fraud: “the defendant had no intention to supply (el producto)”.

The judges’ resolution, dated February 20 and to which EL PAÍS had access, implores the tricks and adventures of the Spanish businessman to defraud his victims. how he hosted them in Mauritania to convince them; how he “earned the confidence” of the commercial director of a French company; And how they told them that, before the end of the biological strike phase – the time during which a natural resource is not exploited to recover it – they had to make an advance payment for the shipment to pay the “sailors” . possible and get the object”. The prosecutor’s office stresses the same idea: “He appeared to manage a solvent company based in Mauritania.”

During the trial, which was held on February 6, the commercial director of the French company gave more details and explained how he got into the lion’s den. That alone He was looking for octopus suppliers and through the Internet he came in contact with the Mauritanian company TL Peche Saral. He found her contact information on the web. And he called. and he sent a E-mail, That’s where José Benito RB appeared, the businessman from Pontevedra, a city of 13,000 inhabitants. “(La víctima) He traveled three times to Mauritania to meet and see the facilities of TL Peche. His boss too. The defendant looked for accommodation for them, and showed them the vessel that he had and could sell them, although there were no fish in his facilities, explaining that it was a biological strike”, while collecting the statement of the sentence Confirms Commercial Director.

According to the victim, the convicted person had also invited him to a fish fair held in Brussels where his company allegedly had a fish fair. the booth, And there they went. But, on reaching there, he did not get that post anywhere. However, as the commercial director added, Jose Benito RB gets around so easily the booth From Mauritania – “it seemed that he knew everyone and introduced them to them” – that he did not suspect.

Finally, the commission was closed at a hotel in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. The French company transferred around 100,000 euros in June 2019. But the octopus didn’t come, and the Spanish gave them a long time: “I tell you, your octopus is in the fridge, but before loading you have to come and solve the problem.” situation,” Jose Benito RB wrote to him via WhatsApp in September, who argued in court that the money he had given was “to fix up the factory that they will use (las dos empresas) according to the sentence , to take advantage of the business they had proposed to do together and to acquire the necessary canoes for fishing.

A thesis the magistrate didn’t buy: “The explanations he offers are absurd (…) they lack probabilistic support.” To do this, among other evidence, he put on the table a message which the manager, already desperate, had sent to the accused: “I have nothing to do with your problems and we have nothing to do with it. It is not my fault if you cannot sell the octopus and if you have ripped off your old partner (sic). I am your client. I have given you an order. I have paid you for this order. I have no goods today!

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