Crackdown on Frozen Food Smuggling Ongoing in China

Chinese police continue to be hot on the trail of frozen food smugglers, having nabbed seven suspects on April 2 for allegedly bringing an estimated US $16 million worth of products into the country illegally.

“In a coordinated operation in Chongqing, Guangdong and Guangxi, more than 100 police officers seized over 400 tons of smuggled food,” according to a Xinhua report.

"With no quarantine inspection at customs and questionable refrigeration conditions in transit, smuggled food poses huge health risks," stated a customs officer in Chongqing, a sprawling municipality at the confluence of the Yangtze and Jialing rivers in southwestern China.

Cracking down on smuggled food products is apparently a higher priority than usual in the Chinese government this year, which in 2017 officially launched an anti-smuggling campaign. In January PRC customs officials in Jiangsu Province arrested a gang suspected of smuggling frozen seafood valued at $31 million over a four-year period. According to Xinhua, over 8,000 tons of shrimp, cuttlefish and fish fillets have illegally entered the country from Vietnam since 2013.

The food was reportedly entered through China-Vietnam border points and was thereafter sold in the cities of Wuxi and Suzhou. In total, Chinese customs officials seized 9,000 tons of smuggled frozen food products in 2017.