The Hook refrigerated storage facility at the port of San Antonio.

Armed gang steals farmed salmon worth nearly £½ million

Three container loads of frozen fish taken in violent assault at Chilean port


Frozen salmon valued at 600 million Chilean pesos (£485,000) was stolen by a gang who carried out a violent armed raid on a storage facility in the port of San Antonio in the Valparaíso region.

The fish had been transported from Los Lagos region for export.

The robbery occurred last Thursday morning, according to Soy Chile (I am Chile) website, just a week before Easter, when the sale of seafood increases significantly.

Police efforts in San Antonio have not yet found the robbers, who transported the frozen salmon in trucks. Their whereabouts are unknown.

It is still not clear whether the cargo belonged to one or several different fish farming companies.

100 pallets

Matías Ruiz-Tagle, lawyer and head of the anti-theft unit of producers’ organisation SalmonChile, said: “According to what we have managed to gather, it was a violent assault that affected a refrigerated unit owned by ‘Hook’. It had fish from several companies and, so far, there has been no specific complaint from any client, so the information is being gathered.”

Ruiz-Tagle said the thieves took around 100 pallets, which is about three full containers.

“Officially, there is no specific complaint from the companies associated with SalmonChile, because they are currently in the inventory stage,” observed Ruiz-Tagle.

The lawyer said the crime would be classed as robbery with violence and intimidation. “It coincides with an important date. It is a frozen product, so it is not difficult to sell it in the black market, prior to Easter.”

Ruiz-Tagle said: “It was a very violent assault, with a lot of movement. They used several trucks and a significant number of people.

“We are talking about three or more containers, which means a high number of losses for the industry.”