Kinmen imposes first fine of NT$200,000 for bringing in meat product


By Huang Huei-min and Yu-Chen Chung, Focus Taiwan News Channel



Taipei, Jan. 8 (CNA) The island county of Kinmen on Monday slapped a fine of NT$200,000 (US$6,486) on a visitor for the first time since the penalties were raised late last year for bringing meat into Taiwan, according to a Customs officer.


Kaohsiung Customs officer Lai Heng-mao (賴恒茂) said Tuesday that the NT$200,000 fine was imposed on a Chinese tourist, who was attempting to enter Kinmen by sea with 0.4 kilograms of sausages.


The sausages were seized at Shuitou Pier and handed over to the Kinmen Inspection Station, a unit of the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ), Lai said.


Since the fines were increased Dec. 18 last year amid fears over African swine fever (ASF), more than 45 people have each been fined NT$200,000 at various ports in Taiwan for attempting to bring meat products into the country in violation of its laws, according to BAPHIQ data.


Monday was the first time, however, that a visitor entering at a Kinmen port was hit with the NT$200,000 fine, Lai said.


Last week, two pig carcasses were found along the shoreline of Kinmen, one of which was confirmed on Jan. 3 to be infected with the ASF virus.


Since then, quarantine measures have been tightened in Kinmen, which lies less than 10 kilometers off China's coast, to include a two-week ban on the shipment of meat products to Taiwan proper.


According to Kaohsiung Customs...