Russian And Japanese Customs Officers To Join Hands In Fighting Sea Bio-resources Smuggling

This year, the customs services of Russia's Far East and Japan have joined their efforts for the first time to fight international poaching and smuggling of sea biological resources, reported the press center of the Far Eastern Customs Department (FECD) Thursday. The Japanese customs services - first of all customs of the northern Hokkaido Island - for the first time in history of the Russo-Japanese relations started providing the FECD with detailed information on deliveries of seafood by Russian boats to Japanese ports. The press center quoted the Japanese colleagues as saying that in the nine months of 2001, the Far Eastern customs officials seized 7,800 tons of contraband seafood worth $3 million. They also seized 33.5 tons of crabs, which were illegally caught in Russia's Pacific waters. The FECD press service mentioned that in the first several years after the collapse of the USSR, dozens of international criminal groups dealing with seafood smuggling to Asian countries had formed in the Russian Far East and Japan. As a result of their activities, Russia and Japan suffered tens of millions of dollars in damage.

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