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Australia: Man convicted for illegal import of Korean pork

A man has been convicted and sentenced in Australia for illegally importing over 20 tonnes of pork and chicken into Australia from Korea.

Hong Ki Kim, previously the director of Lotte Trading Pty Ltd, was found to guilty and sentenced to three years and three months jail in the Brisbane District Court. He is to serve his sentences 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.

First Assistant Secretary, Border Compliance Division, Tim Chapman, said meat from Korea carried the risk of Foot and Mouth Disease which 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 result of a targeted operation which cracked down on illegal meat imports that could have had devastating impacts on Australia’s livestock industry,” Mr Chapman said.

“Given that Korea has had outbreaks of this highly contagious disease, these meat products posed a potentially significant 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.”

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

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