Solar Fish was reported by FTI Consulting to have received a payment of $355 million from six different parties. While on the surface it comes off as a simple financial transaction, this payment is suspected to be for the sale of a number of Russian fishing firms that the company controlled in secrecy.
Solar Fish is a company that has previously been at the center of trade finance fraud that went above $5 billion. Now caught up in this new scandal, there is a risk of deep reprehension.
The $354.5 million the company received from the six parties was exchanged between Jan. 28, 2013 and Feb. 5, 2013, with a strong chance this was from the sales of a pollock and herring catching firm, now known as Russian Fishery Company (RFC).
A large portion of the involved parties in the transaction includes members of the Ng family, who have spent years building up Pacific Andes. Three of the agreeing members who signed were members of this family.
Those who paid either have a connection to the Ng family or the China Fishery Pacific Andes. Gennedy Bredikhin, who is reported to have been a former group employee, paid $100 million to Solar Fish on Jan. 28, 2013 and $12 million on Jan. 31, 2013. Evgeny Kurnosov, who was shown through an internet search to have a professional connection, as their LinkedIn displayed them as a group employee for many years, paid $49.98 million to Solar Fish on Jan. 28, 2013. Lastly, Glorious Bright Enterprise and Gowill Holdings, whose signatures belong to a member of the Ng family and the group’s administration manager, paid $9.40 million and $8.80 million to Solar Fish on Jan. 28, 2013.
An investigation report from FTI dated Oct. 31, 2017, states that, “It appears likely that the funds paid to Solar Fish are from the sale of Russian fishing interests that may have been controlled by or on behalf of the Ng family”, or the Pacific Andes group.
There were also payments made to Solar Fish from “Andrey Z Vladimir A Shlyakhovoy T” of $150 million and $4.40 million respectively on Jan. 31 and Feb. 5, 2013, that is not explained in the report.
Solar Fish also sent out a payment with the description of “Russia Sea” followed by the name of RFC to an international law firm in Russia. This was reportedly done in early 2013.
The merger and acquisition were reported to have financial statements of RFC showing that they acquired Turnif and Intraros, two Far East Pollock companies linked to the Ngs, on January 18th, 2013. RFC also acquired Anryba and Vostokrybprom for $195 million later that year. Finally, they gained Pelagial and Imlan for $38 million in August of 2014.
According to an Undercurrent news article, “FTI wrote to the law firm seeking information about the work they were engaged to perform for Solar Fish, with the firm confirming engagement letter has Pacific Andes as part of the file name and invoices sent by the law firm make reference to work performed for Pacific Andes, an FTI report from November 2018 state.”.
While the Ngs have consistently claimed to have no ownership over Russian fishing companies, and have only sourced Pollock and other fish from the country with what they call long-term supply agreements. Pacific Andes states that Perun and Alatir are prepaid by them for their fish. There are claims backed by a number of reports found by the FTI however that states these two companies are actually controlled by Pacific Andes and the Ngs, with these “agreements” being nothing more than a possible sham. The most damning evidence involving a distinct connection between the companies and a Ng family’s spouse.
Between that case, the funds generated from the sale of indirectly held Russian fishing interests by Solar Fish, and the building allegations against Solar Fish and the Ngs, it is becoming more likely that fraudulent activities could be happening in the current fish market. There is a plethora of allegations, reports, and information found by FTI, but nothing yet is proven as of today.
Those who are interested in learning more information about this case or those who want to keep up-to-date on the latest legal proceedings, check out Jeffrey Newman Law help center and blog.