20 people sentenced for smuggling meat from animal epidemic-affected India, Argentina
Published: Jan 29, 2021 02:10 PM

A worker arranges boxes of imported frozen meat at a cold storage. (Xinhua/Yao Jianfeng)

20 people in Wenzhou, a trading hub in East China's Zhejiang Province, were sentenced to prison and fined on Thursday for smuggling more than 487 tons of frozen meat products from countries with animal disease outbreaks, including India and Argentina.

They had been frequently smuggling and transporting frozen meat products between May 2019 and April 2020, and the products had never been inspected and quarantined by border inspectors and customs, according to the court that heard the case in Wenzhou.

The court sentenced the 20 people from 22 months to 36 months in prison, and fined them varying amounts from 50,000 to 80,000 yuan ($7,735-12,376). Their behavior constituted the crime of smuggling goods or articles prohibited by the state for import and export, the court said.

The products they smuggled included frozen beef and internal cattle organs, which were identified as having originated from India, Argentina and other countries, said the court.

China's General Administration of Customs bans the import and circulation of hoofed animals and their related products from India and Argentina, which are on its List of Animals and Their Products Prohibited to Be Imported from Countries and Areas with Animal Epidemics as FMD (foot-and-mouth disease) endemic areas.

Global Times
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