Trans-border swim bladder smugglers busted

Taipei Times
Date: Aug 25, 2020
By: Jason Pan / Staff reporter, with CNA

FBI Legal Attache Office representative in Taiwan Nicolas Garcia, front row second left, Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) Deputy Commissioner Liao Hsun-cheng, front row third left, and others yesterday inspect seized totoaba swim bladders at a news conference at the CIB’s Taipei office.
Photo: Yao Yueh-hung, Taipei Times

A New Taipei City resident in his 30s was arrested earlier this month for allegedly smuggling totoaba swim bladders from Mexico to sell in China, as part of a months-long probe into an international smuggling ring that began with a tip-off from the FBI, the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) said yesterday.

Local police and customs authorities seized 19kg of totoaba swim bladders between July 28 and Aug. 12 that had a black market price of about US$900,000, the CIB told a news conference at its office in Taipei.

CIB Deputy Commissioner Liao Hsun-cheng (廖訓誠) inspected the confiscated haul, while FBI Legal Attache Office representative in Taiwan Nicolas Garcia made a rare public appearance.

Liao said that the main haul was seized at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Aug. 10 — 161 dried swim bladders that arrived from the US by air cargo — and CIB units followed up with searches.    [FULL  STORY]

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