Pork black market huge: dealers

by 5m Editor
27 November 2006, at 11:53am

JAPAN - Not only have importers illegally evaded high tariffs on pork shipments, but the leading food companies that purchase it were well aware of that fact, several meat wholesalers have told The Asahi Shimbun.

The wholesalers' admissions to the trade in black market pork comes hot on the heels of the Nov. 16 arrest of Noboru Sogabe, the former president of wholesaler Kyochiku.

Tokyo prosecutors suspect Sogabe of having not paid more than 10 billion yen in tariffs while at the firm in Shikokuchuo, Ehime Prefecture.

Companies must pay tariffs on imported pork if it costs less than the benchmark prices for Japanese pork. The cheaper the price of the imported meat, the higher the tariff--a system set up to protect Japanese pork producers.

Sogabe allegedly evaded payments by using two routes of import: a meat importer in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi Prefecture, and dealers in South Korea and Taiwan.

Source: Asahi

5m Editor