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China: Around The Nation

23 arrested in crackdown on milk-powder smuggling ring run from China and US

Customs authorities in Fuzhou say sophisticated operation was run by “highly educated intellectuals”

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 2:00pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 April, 2017, 2:57pm

Fujian authorities have cracked down on a sophisticated smuggling ring controlled from the US and China, involving 150 million yuan (US$22 million) worth of baby formula and health supplements, according to China News Service.

In January, customs authorities in Shenzhen, Xiamen, Fuzhou and Ningde coordinated a crackdown targeting international logistics company DCS Global Import and Export. They arrested 23 suspects, according to the report.

A search into the company’s warehouses in Shenzhen, Xiamen and Fuzhou found more than 3,000 boxes of baby formula and health supplements and seized more than 660,000 yuan in cash.

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“The smugglers hired people to carry the products across the border but they integrated high-tech elements, making the operations of the entire smuggling chain more efficient and minimising losses,” said a Fuzhou customs official.

“Their work [was] hidden, sophisticated, smart and diversified,” the official added.

It was reported that DCS Global was controlled by an American of Chinese origin identified by the surname Dong. He had set up divisions in New York, Los Angeles and the state of Delaware to collect and transport products by air and sea to Hong Kong, according to the Fuzhou customs spokesman.

Key players in the smuggling ring were described as “highly educated intellectuals”. Dong is reportedly a post-graduate student with a major in marketing at the University of New Haven.

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Another key player, identified by the surname Wu by Fuzhou customs, was said to be a network engineer who had previously served as a chief engineer at a Xiamen-based technology firm.

DCS Global was described as a logistics company fronting for a smuggling and parallel trading ring. Dong was said to control another logistics company based in Fuzhou, which coordinated warehouses in Shenzhen and Fuzhou to store goods that were smuggled from Hong Kong.