THREE men have been sentenced after successful prosecutions by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) following a North Wales Police investigation into £300,000 chicken theft and fraud in North Wales.

Rana Dhaia, owner of Townsend Poultry in Wolverhampton, together with Darren Williams and Elliot Smith, both Dispatch Managers employed by the 2 Sisters Food Group in Llangefni, conspired together to commit fraud.

During an audit at the 2 Sisters Food Group, it came to light that Williams and Smith were supplying Townsend Poultry with chicken.

Townsend Poultry was not a customer of 2 Sisters Food Group and there were no records of any deliveries.

Enquiries made with local hauliers used by the 2 Sisters Food Group confirmed there had been 84 deliveries from the 2 Sisters Food Group to Townsend Poultry, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Williams and Smith had destroyed the records of those deliveries.

Rana Dhaia from Wolverhampton was found guilty. Williams and Smith, both from Anglesey, pleaded guilty to theft. As a result, the three men received sentences on Friday, 2 February, at Caernarfon Crown Court.

  • Rana Dhaia was sentenced to serve a term of imprisonment of 4 years and three months.
  • Darren Williams was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years with a requirement to undertake 300 hours of unpaid work.
  • Elliot Smith was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, suspended for two years with a requirement to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work.

The Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) National Food Crime Unit (NFCU), working with partners, conducted an unannounced visit and secured evidence that assisted the police.  

Forged handwritten dispatch notes were found, which indicated that £300,000 worth of chicken had been stolen, leading to potential traceability issues.

The FSA said it’s vital that poultry can be traced through the food system to help ensure that food is safe to eat.  

The three men were arrested following the execution of a search warrant.  

2 Sisters Food Group fully co-operated with the investigation and gave evidence for the prosecution, according to the FSA.

Deterrent

Andrew Quinn, of the Food Standards Agency’s National Food Crime Unit, said: “We welcome these sentences, as this sends a strong deterrent message to those considering committing food crimes.

“I want to thank the CPS and North Wales police for their excellent partnership work in securing these convictions.

“Together, we are stronger in the fight against food fraud, and we continue to work with partners to help ensure that consumers are protected.”

 Emmalyne Downing, Crown Advocate, added: “The three defendants took advantage of their position within the companies to defraud 2 Sisters Food Group.  

“Fraud cases can be complex, the CPS worked closely with the Economic Crime Unit at North Wales Police and the Food Standards Agency in Wales to build a strong case against the defendants. 

“The evidence presented resulted in all three being convicted.”