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Published on Wednesday, 05 December 2012 22:57
A recently formed mobile team arrested the merchants for smuggling jade and crabs across Myanmar-China border at the end of November, according to a report of the Border Trade Department.
The vehicle loaded with the smuggled items was on its way to the border trade route when it was stopped and searched between Kutkai and Nahmphatkha.
“We also found illegal jades piled in the forest, but the owner escaped. All the jades have been valued at over US$94,118,” said a mobile team official who asked not to be named.
“The mobile team checked small vehicles, motorcycles and small merchants more often. As now is the educative period, the team makes the merchants re-apply for the official licence. The seized goods are given back to the merchants. The goods without health certificate for the consumers have to be destroyed,” the mobile team said.
Most of the small merchants were arrested for illegally trading food and consumer goods. Food banned for export such as frozen chicken and sausage were destroyed by the mobile team, the Border Trade Department said.
“Some trucks illegally transporting goods run only at night, not during daytime. Therefore, only small merchants are arrested,” a merchant said.
The total value of the food and consumer goods seized by the end of November was US$48,471, according to the department.
Apart from jades, merchants also illegally export gems and timber logs to China, and illegal trade volume can reach billions of US dollars annually, the department stated.