Thai Union confirms US division is whistleblower in tuna price fixing probe
Thai Union Group, the owner of the Chicken of the Sea US shelf stable seafood brand, confirmed it’s US division is the whistleblower in the probe of price fixing in the tuna sector from the country’s Department of Justice (DOJ).
In a Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) notice, Thai Union said it would like to update the SET and the investors that its US arm, Tri-Union Seafoods, has received conditional leniency with respect to the investigation under the DOJ’s corporate leniency program.
“Provided Tri-Union continues to fully cooperate with the DOJ, Tri-Union’s conditional leniency status means that neither Tri-Union nor any cooperating executives or employees within the scope of the Investigation will face criminal fines, jail time or prosecution,” the company said. “Thai Union was not involved in the conduct for which Tri-Union has received conditional leniency.”
On Aug. 15, Undercurrent News reported that the guilty pleas from executives with Starkist and Bumble Bee Foods, the other two major US brands, made it likely Thai Union was the whistleblower on the alleged US shelf-stable seafood price-fixing cartel.
Bumble Bee has pled guilty to price fixing and agreed to pay a $25 million fine, while two veteran sales executives of the company, Walter Scott Cameron and Ken Worsham, have also taken plea deals. Stephen Hodge, former senior vice president of sales for Dongwon Industries-owned Starkist, has also entered a guilty plea and agreed to cooperate with the DOJ probe of price fixing in the sector.