(Yicai Global) April 12 -- Customs in Shantou in southern China's Guangdong province have cracked a network that has smuggled around 160 tons of edible bird's nests worth about CNY2 billion (USD300 million) into the country.
The General Administration of Customs worked with local police to bring in 18 suspects across Pingxiang and Nanning in Guangxi, as well as Shantou, Guangdong and Shenzhen, state-backed Xinhua News Agency reported.
Since last year, Chinese consignors have been ordering edible bird's nests from Indonesia and Malaysia. The gangs were forwarding them by air to Vietnam before secretly bringing them into the country through Pingxiang and Nanning to make exorbitant profits.
The network has allegedly smuggled around 160 tons of edible bird's nests worth around CNY2 billion and thus evaded some CNY320 million (USD47.6 million) in taxes, local authorities said
Edible bird's nests are made by certain swifts and swiftlets mainly using saliva, and they have been a traditional rare delicacy in China since the Ming Dynasty.
Editor: William Clegg