Executives at frozen-food supplier Pacific Andes International Holdings have been hauled into the High Court over a dispute involving a British trading firm, GBP128,036 (HK$1.76 million) worth of rancid seafood and accusations of fishy business. Pacific Andes managing director Ng Joo Siang was forced to take the stand yesterday by Bloomsbury International, a British seafood trader seeking to recover GBP128,036 after it unwittingly bought a consignment of rotten fish from a former subsidiary of the Hong Kong-listed company. Although it obtained an arbitration judgment in its favour in 2002, Bloomsbury has been unable to recoup the cash after the Pacific Andes subsidiary, Nouvelle Foods Hong Kong, was sold for $1 to two British Virgin Island companies. During the cross-examination of Mr Ng yesterday, Bloomsbury raised concerns that assets formerly belonging to Nouvelle Foods, including $250,000 in cash, might have been stripped out to other companies in the Pacific Andes group. 'What happened to the assets, particularly the cash in the company prior to the sale of the company?' asked legal counsel for Bloomsbury, Peter Duncan. 'We have grave concerns as to why there should be a sale for $1.' Nouvelle Foods had turnover of $123 million between April 1, 2000, and March 27, 2001. When asked if the $1 sum paid was correct, Mr Ng responded: 'I cannot remember exactly.' Nor was he able to give an accurate picture of how pivotal Nouvelle Foods was to the Pacific Andes group. 'It's one of 100, 200 [companies in the group], I cannot answer that clearly,' he said. 'I'm coming here in my capacity as Nouvelle Foods [director], not as a director of Pacific Andes, do you understand, Mr Duncan?' The questioning was, however, cut short when the Pacific Andes director was asked whether he believed the $1 sale to be a bona fide, arm's length agreement. Mr Ng's lawyer objected to the question, arguing it fell beyond the parameters of the hearing. The question will be ruled on by a High Court judge at a later date. The British firm bought the frozen seafood from Nouvelle Foods between late 1999 and early 2000 and proceeded to arbitration after discovering the cache was rancid. Mr Ng and fellow Pacific Andes executive Frank Ng Joo Puay - who was also to be cross-examined - were directors of Nouvelle Foods until they resigned in March 2001, when the company was sold.