A 67-year-old smuggler with dementia has no idea where he hid his £53million in profits, which he got after smuggling rare baby eels to Asia.
The man imported the live elvers from Spain to a barn in the Western Country by hiding them under hauls of chilled fish.
Gilbert Khoo made so much that he had gold bars.
The man was known to ship the eels to Malaysia and Hong Kong, where they are considered as a culinary delicacy.
A probe was carried out when Border Force officials opened a package and found around 600,000 elvers.
That happened on February 15, 2017.
Half of the fish were already dead and the other 290,000 were sent back to Spain, their home, where they were released back into the wild.
Last year, he dodged jail after saying that he was at risk of catching the virus.
He was convicted of animal export offences in March of last year.
He has been diagnosed with dementia and said that he has no idea where he hid the spoils that he made through the illegal trade.
Jolyon Robertson, prosecuting, said:
There are assets in Mr Khoo’s bank account which the Crown say have been hidden which go back six years.
Tom Godfrey, defending, said:
Mr Khoo now with diagnosed with dementia and is finding it extremely difficult to provide necessary instructions to us as to where those payments went. If it is the case that we can’t receive instructions from Mr Khoo, then there may be situation where we put forward that we may not be able to at all. I’m afraid there is still quite a gulf between the parties, we have sought resolution but not been fruitful so far.
The hearing at Southwark Crown Court was told that Khoo owned a car and lived in a rental property.
He did not have anything asset wise, said a report.
Judge Jeffrey Pegden QC said that a figure needed to be agreed between legal sides to know how much money had been concealed by Khoo in other assets.
Judge Pegden said that the money must be somewhere after the hearing ended.
A following hearing has been fixed on July 2, 2021.
Khoo smuggled European eels that are also known as the Anguilla Anguilla.
They are on the brink of Extinction.
The court heard the total value of the exports was a whopping £53,365,000.
Khoo, who is from Parbury Rise, Chessington, denied the claims, however, he was convicted of 3 counts of failure to notify movement of animals between member states and 3 counts of evasion of prohibition or restriction on the export of goods.
The man was sentenced to 2 years in jail and suspended for 2 years.
He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.