Chinese customs uncovers soybean smuggling

Case is the country’s largest in several years

China customs uncovered soybean smuggling worth CNY5.46 billion (US$869.5 million) last year, according to reports. This is the largest such case in the country in several years.

A trading company, which was not named, was suspected of smuggling soybeans after customs officials in Qingdao assessed soy prices for potential risk. The case was uncovered after officials seized 730 contracts, some of which were falsified, and accessed 80,000 emails. Four individuals were arrested in Linyi, Dalian and Shenzhen.

China is the largest importer of soybeans, importing more than 60 percent of the estimated global trade of 116 million tons in 2014-15, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In 2014, Beijing launched a campaign called “Green Wind” to fight the smuggling of grains, sugar and cotton. Nearly 500 cases of tax evasion were uncovered, valued at CNY7.1 billion, in the first nine months.