The Assets Recovery Agency has frozen property belonging to three Co Down fishermen convicted of "landing fish stocks in excess of their permitted quota".
Assets belonging to Kilkeel father and son Charles Leslie McBride and Charles Hubert McBride as well, as Leslie Clifford Girvan, were all frozen yesterday in a joint action between the ARA, Marine and Fisheries Agency and Defra.
Assets belonging to McBride Fishing Company, of which the McBrides are joint directors, and Kilkeel Selling Company, of which Mr Girvan is a director, were frozen, too.
The fishermen were convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in January on charges relating to the " inaccurate fish landing declaration" involving vessels owned and controlled by them. Sentencing is expected in December.
ARA deputy director of operations, Charlie Dickin said: "This is one of three cases where we have worked alongside the Marine and Fisheries Agency and shows our determination to recover the proceeds from all types of illegal activity including those that threaten sustainable fish stocks.
" The restraint order will prevent dissipation or disposal of the assets belonging to the respective defendants while we continue with our investigation to establish the full extent of the benefit obtained from their criminal conduct, thus assisting the court to make any appropriate confiscation orders."