In the UK, three men—Rana Dhaia, Darren Williams, and Elliot Smith—have been sentenced after being found guilty of chicken theft and food fraud worth more than £300,000.

Dhaia, who hails comes from Wolverhampton, received a sentence of imprisonment for four years and three months. Smith and Williams, both from Anglesey, received sentences of two years imprisonment and two year suspension with 250–300 hours of unpaid work.

The UK Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit (FSA’s NFCU) worked with partners to secure evidence for prosecution through an unannounced visit. Forged handwritten dispatch notes were found, indicating that £318,347 worth of chicken had been stolen. The three men were arrested following the search.

2Sisters Food Group, the North Wales business that was defrauded by the three men, fully cooperated with the investigation and gave evidence for the prosecution. Williams and Smith were both Dispatch Managers employed by 2Sisters Food Group in Llangefni, and they conspired with Dhaia, owner of Townsend Poultry in Wolverhampton, to commit food fraud.

During an audit at 2Sisters Food Group, it was found that Williams and Smith were supplying Townsend Poultry with chicken. Townsend Poultry was not a customer of 2Sisters Food Group and there were no records of any deliveries. Inquiries made with local haulers used by the 2Sisters Food Group confirmed there had been 84 deliveries from the 2Sisters Food Group to Townsend Poultry, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Williams and Smith had destroyed the records of those deliveries.

FSA emphasizes that the fraud carried out by the three men not only cost the 2Sisters Food Group more than £300,000, but it also caused potential traceability issues that could have far-reaching food safety implications.