A FORMER NSW importer who illegally imported over 10 tonnes of meat products from Korea has been sentenced to two years and six months in jail.
The importer, Ji Young Kim, who also directed a quarantine facility under the trading name The Three Man Plus Pty Ltd, pleaded guilty to the illegal importation following investigations by the Department of Agriculture’s Operation Hayride.
The department prosecuted charges of aggravated illegal importation, possession of illegally imported goods and failure to follow a direction from the department.
Ms Kim was convicted and sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment by the Sydney District Court.
The company also pleaded guilty and was convicted and fined $55,000. The convictions came under section 67(3), 70C(3) and 70D(2) of the Quarantine Act 1908.
The department confirmed the convictions in a statement today.
First Assistant Secretary of the Border Compliance Division, Colin Hunter, said in the statement the prosecution reflected the serious penalties industry and individuals face if they intentionally breached Australian biosecurity laws.
“Ms Kim was charged as a result of a targeted operation which cracked down on illegal meat imports that could have had devastating impacts on Australia’s livestock industry,” Mr Hunter said.
“The tough sentence reflects the serious nature of the crime. There is no tolerance for importers who deliberately break the law.”
Under the Act, persons convicted of illegal importation face up to 10 years jail. In cases of commercial importation a fine of up to $1.7 million per offence can also apply.
The department says more prosecutions arising from the operation are underway.