CHINA - Guangzhou Customs authorities have uncovered more than $91 million worth of fruit being smuggled into China from multiple countries, the U.S. included, hitting both its attempt to crack down on food bacteria and pests as well as its economy.
Customs officers have found and confiscated more than 40,000 tons of fruit, including fresh cherries, grapes, and other commodities, world news source Like News reports, valued at about 600 million yuan (about $91,121,000) since cracking down in 2014.
The fruits originated from a multitude of countries, including:
- The United States
- South Africa
Sources told Like News that smuggling fruit is becoming an increasing issue. To date, Guangzhou Customs has unraveled three smuggling gangs, arrested 28 suspects, and “informed '520' large smuggling cases of imported fruit.”
Fruit smuggling increases chances for the entry of harmful bacterias and pests into the country, which is already currently combatting “one of the country’s worst invasions.”
Guangzhou Customs reports that it plans to increase the security of imported fruit even more and maintain closer inspection at customs to further buckle down on fruit smuggling in order to promote a safe yet convenient fruit import/export trade.
Currently, the process is already a rigorous one, requiring quality inspection, approval and publication of access by the proper authorities, as well as the establishment of the origin of growing, proof of license to operate, certification of foreign/domestic buyers, and signed purchase contracts.