Illegal fish importers caught and convicted

Two illegal fish importers have been sentenced in South Australia thanks to the work of the Australian Border Force (ABF).

South Australian business owner, Huy Truong, was convicted yesterday for hiring convicted fish importer, Kwok Weai Alex Chang, to smuggle 176 exotic fish across the Australian border.

Australian Border Force (ABF) Commander Rachel Houghton today said that the conviction was a result of a joint investigation between the ABF, Primary Industries and Regions South Australia, Department of the Environment and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

“ABF staff discovered live fish worth $235,000 in Chang’s baggage at Adelaide Airport on 2 February 2015 and this triggered a wider investigation to find Truong,” Commander Houghton said.

Truong has been sentenced to nearly three years’ imprisonment and released on a two-year good behaviour bond while Chang received almost three years in prison when he was sentenced last year.”

Commander Houghton said Truong’s recent conviction was a great result for the Australian community and demonstrates the ABF’s work to combat illegal importers.

“ABF is taking action to combat the international trade in rare animals and protect our delicate natural wildlife from the devastating impact of foreign diseases and predators,” Commander Houghton said.

“Illegal importers don’t think of the animal’s safety and wellbeing during transport – in this case a large number of the fish did not survive the journey.

“The ABF does not take animal smuggling lightly and we will continue to work collaboratively with our partners to detect, disrupt and deter illegal activity at our borders.”

Media contact: Immigration and Border Protection (02) 6264 2244

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