Over 670 tonnes of smuggled meat up to four decades old was publicly destroyed yesterday in a refuse processing plant in Hekou, Yunnan province. Police and fire fighters poured several barrels of gasoline over the frozen meat, lit it up and watched as 13 million yuan worth of expired pig’s feet and beef burned to ashes.
Custom official Li Yongkang said the batch of confiscated frozen meat included a medley of animal products, including chicken feet, wings, beef, pork trotters and pork belly.
Li said the anti-smuggling department had received intel on the illegal frozen meat even before it got into China. As the smuggled meat was en-route, police initially planned on busting the gang and making arrests at a rest area in Mengzi city, but one of the truck drivers nodded off at the wheel, causing the load of smuggled goods to overturn. Police arrived at the scene and arrested the smuggling gang, confiscating 21 trucks full of illegal frozen meat. Two trucks got away in the process as the police were short on arresting officers.
“If we had not confiscated this frozen meat, it would have been quickly sold in the market,” Li told reporters.
He explained that smuggling gangs make frequent trips across the border and sneak smaller batches of illegal products into China more easily. They continually change-up their smuggling patterns, making it harder for customs officers to detect the illegal activity.
Hekou, with its unique geographical location, has become a popular entry point for smugglers.
In light of the situation, the government in Hekou has been developing a series of anti-smuggling strategies, and plans on increasing the number of customs officers, enforcing stricter inspection of vehicles and closing off some entryways and docks.
By Crystal Lau
[Images via NetEase]