News

Jail sentence for illegal importation of meat

Beef Central, 31/05/2013

A man was convicted and sentenced on Friday to three years and three months jail in the Brisbane District Court for import, possession and distribution of meat products illegally brought into Australia. 

The man’s sentences, to be served concurrently, include 12 months for possession of illegally imported goods,three years and three months for aggravated illegal importation and 15 months for influencing a commonwealth official with fraudulent documents.

He will serve a nine month non-parole period with three years of good behaviour. 

Hong Ki Kim, previously the director of Lotte Trading Pty Ltd, was found to have illegally imported more than 20 tonnes ofpork and chicken products from Korea.

First Assistant Secretary,Border Compliance Division, Tim Chapman, said meat from Korea carriedthe risk of Foot and Mouth Diseasewhich is one of the single biggest biosecurity threats to Australia’s livestock industry and status as a trading nation.

“The man was charged as a resultof a targeted operation which cracked down on illegal meat imports that could have had devastating impacts onAustralia’s livestock industry,” Mr Chapman said.

“Given that Korea has had outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, these meat products posed a potentiallysignificant risk to Australia.

“To put this into perspective, we estimate that a small Foot and Mouth Disease outbreak, controlled in 3 months, could cost Australia around $7.1 billion, while a large 12 month outbreak would cost $16 billion.”

Hong Ki Kimwas charged with fiveillegal commercial imports into Brisbane and Sydney. He was also charged with fivecounts of influencing a commonwealth official by dishonestly producing and providing false documentsand one  count of possession and distribution of illegally imported meat.

The case comes from an investigation by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry that uncovered large-scale and deliberate illegal importsof foods across businesses in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Anyone aware of illegal import activity or foods is encouraged to report it to DAFF confidentially on the biosecurity redline: 1800 803 006

Source: DAFF

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