WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2024
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DSI seeks arrest warrants for 5 suspects over alleged meat smuggling

DSI seeks arrest warrants for 5 suspects over alleged meat smuggling

The Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has requested the Criminal Court to issue five arrest warrants for those suspected of involvement in meat smuggling.

Four arrest warrants are for legal entities and one for an individual, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The move came after 90 shipping containers full of smuggled pork, beef and chicken were recently confiscated at the Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi province.

DSI officers early this month conducted searches at the office of PC Foods Center Co Ltd and its headquarters located in a duty-free zone in Nonthaburi province. They found that the company had imported 3,469 shipping containers of animal meat without paying taxes between December 2020 and January 2024. Total unpaid taxes were estimated at 1.38 billion baht.

During their searches, the officers also found a list of people receiving bribes from the suspected smugglers. Alleged bribed officials included officials from the Department of Livestock Development, Customs Department, military and police officers, and journalists, according to the source.

The DSI, which is part of the Justice Ministry, discovered that the meat smuggling racket was also linked to many politicians, bureaucrats, and businesspeople.

DSI seeks arrest warrants for 5 suspects over alleged meat smuggling

The agency requested arrest warrants to be issued by the Criminal Court for the five suspects – four legal entities and one individual – for their alleged involvement in meat smuggling. The source said those suspects had abused their tax-exempt privilege, which would cause damage to fair trade competition, domestic meat consumption, and the country's economy.

Smuggling of meat products is an offence under the Customs Act of 2017 and the Animal Epidemics Act of 2015.

In recent years, cases of meat smuggling have been on the rise. The DSI said recently that smugglers had shipped in more than 2,300 containers of illegal pork worth about 3 billion baht since 2020. The racket has been blamed for suppressing the local pork industry and raising the risk of disease.
 

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