‘I’m really excited to be back’: Man arrested in Toronto’s fish wine scandal


A man has been arrested in connection with a $1 million bribery scheme, and a former Toronto-based fish wine distributor is facing more than $1.1 million in fines and restitution.

The alleged scheme, which was uncovered in February by a Toronto police officer, involves a company called Fish Wine Distributing Inc. and a Toronto-area seafood company, Seafood Food Canada Inc. The fish wine bottles were shipped to the U.S. and Europe, where they were then shipped to various seafood restaurants and bars.

In April, Fish Wine and Seafood Foods were ordered to pay a total of $1,500,000 in fines, restitution and interest.

Toronto Police Service Commissioner Ian Scott said Tuesday that the investigation is continuing and he expects charges to be laid against more people in the coming weeks.

Scott said police have arrested seven people and are looking for additional suspects.

A spokesperson for Seafoodfood said the company has not yet been served with the arrest warrant.

Scott noted that police have identified a number of people in connection to the bribery scheme and have also obtained warrants for their arrest.

“We are committed to pursuing those responsible and will continue to pursue those who participated in this,” Scott said.

A spokesman for SeafodFood said the seafood company will cooperate with police.

The Seafood Wine Distributors Association of Canada (SWABC), which represents Fish Wine, said it’s disappointed with the RCMP’s decision to charge individuals.

“The RCMP’s action is unacceptable and does not reflect the values of the Seafood Industry as a whole,” said Sarah Ritchie, president of the association.

“SWAFCA is calling on all parties to be respectful and cooperative and that the Seafod Wine Distributor Association (SDA) work collaboratively with the Police Service of Canada.”

Scott said the investigation into the bribery has been underway for two years.

“I am deeply concerned that these allegations are coming to light,” Scott added.

“These were systemic, and the RCMP has been investigating this for two and a half years.

I am hopeful that this is a matter that will be dealt with swiftly.”

Scott added that Fish Wine is still working to ensure that the company will have the resources it needs to comply with the food and beverage regulations.

“Our fish wine industry is strong and we need to maintain our competitive edge to continue to serve our customers well and attract new customers to our restaurants,” he said.

“However, we are also committed to doing everything possible to prevent any future wrongdoing in the future.”

fish wine bottle

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