Australian meat company fined for illegal imports

By Carina Perkins

- Last updated on GMT

Operation Hayride: further prosecutions for illegal Korea imports

Related tags International trade Australia

An Australian meat trading company has been fined $10,000 after it was found guilty of being in possession of meat imported illegally from Korea.

Hyun Woo Trading was fined based on evidence gathered during the Australian Department of Agriculture’s (DAFF) Operation Hayride, which investigated breaches of Australia’s biosecurity laws.

The company’s director, Dong Hee Lee, was convicted earlier this year and sentenced to nine months imprisonment, wholly suspended dependent on two years good behaviour and an AUS$5,000 bond, for his involvement in the case.

Operation Hayride uncovered more than 130 tonnes of illegally imported food products, including meat. A separate company convicted for handling the illegal products was fined AUS$15 000, with the director convicted to 12 months imprisonment wholly suspended after a $500 three-year good behaviour bond.

DAFF first assistant secretary for Border Compliance, Tim Chapman, said that by bringing illegal foods into the country, the convicted companies had put Australia at risk of disease such as food-and-mouth.

“The sentences and fines resulting from this operation serve as a warning. People who risk Australia’s environment, trade status and industries will be dealt with accordingly, and that means hefty fines and sentences,”​ he said. “The risk of these activities to Australian agriculture and trade is unacceptable.”

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