Fishy pair in door-to-door seafood scam

ROGUE fishmongers are targeting Edinburgh with a scam which has already cost one man hundreds of pounds.

The pair have been going door-to-door in recent days, reportedly using "high pressure" sales techniques. The fish they sell are overpriced and thought to be out of date, sparking health concerns.

Trading Standards officers also believe the fish may not be all they seem, as a similar scam last year saw people duped into buying what they thought were monkfish fillets but which turned out to be Vietnamese catfish.

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The men involved have called on homes in Inverleith, charging 8 to 12 for 400g of fish - around double the high street price.

One man was said to have bought almost 300 worth after being pressured by the salesmen.

The city's environment leader, Councillor Robert Aldridge, said: "Regrettably there will always be unscrupulous individuals willing to take advantage of vulnerable residents."

The men involved had north-east English accents and were wearing jumpers with "North Eastern Fisheries" embroidered on them. They are believed to be trading from a white van with "Sarrillion" on the side.

This description has convinced trading standards officers that they are the same men who carried out a similar operation in Portobello last year.

At that time, one woman spent more than 300 on salmon, sea bass, haddock and cod from the unnamed company, but when the produce arrived at her home, not one of the varieties was included.

Jonathan Croan, manager of J Brown Fishmongers on Montague Terrace, said: "The concern for people would be that these men probably don't have a licence, and so there is no telling what state the fish is in, or where it came from.

"The prices they are charging sound extortionate."

Eddie Kwok, who owns Eddie's Seafood Market in Marchmont, said the difference between Vietnamese catfish and monkfish would be difficult to spot if the fish had been filleted, but said the taste would be very different.

"The monkfish here is a seawater fish, whereas the Vietnamese catfish is a freshwater fish, and so the difference in taste would be quite obvious," he said.