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Illegal imported rice seized

Part of the illegally imported rice that were confisicated from a container at Point Cruz port yesterday

MORE than a tonne of illegally imported Chinese rice have been confiscated from a container at Point Cruz international port by Agriculture Biosecurity and Quarantine officers yesterday.

The 100 bags of 15kg rice is part of a consignment believed to be shipped in from China.

Agriculture Biosecurity and Quarantine Director Francis Tsatsia confirmed in an interview yesterday that this comes after the officers inspected the container belonging to a Chinese businessman.

Mr Tsatsia said the Chinese businessman has breached the country’s Import Act.

“This person didn’t have an import permit to import the product. Rice is a regulated item, and it can take in foreign pest and diseases such as khapara beetle which is found only in Asian countries and is very destructive,” he said.

Mr Tsatsia said if the Chinese illegal importer failed to re-ship the bags of rice back to China, they will lay issue him with penalties and will destroy the products at Ranadi.

“We have incinerator at Ranadi where we use to destroy illegally imported products.”

He said the Chinese man has accepted to destroy the products.

Mr Tsatsia has warned importers to follow rightful procedures when bringing in foreign goods in the country.