3 Accused of Poaching King Crabs

Investigators are accusing an American, a Russian and a German citizen of poaching millions of dollars of king crab for export to U.S. markets.

The Interior Ministry's Investigative Committee said the three — identified only by their surnames, Gontmakher, Embarek and Darminov — were part of a firm called Eastern Fish Resources.

The company is accused of organizing the harvest and illegal export of nearly 23,000 tons of king crab from 2006 to 2007 — more than seven times the government quota allotted to it, according to a committee statement.

The three face charges that include money laundering and poaching.

According to U.S. news reports, Arkadi Gontmakher is a Ukrainian immigrant who lives in Bellevue, Washington. His company, Global Fishing, reportedly is the largest importer of king crab to the United States. After he was jailed in Moscow in September, Global Fishing said it had "always sought to operate in a legal and ethical manner."