Customs Administration officers seized dried mushrooms hidden among LCD panels at Kaohsiung Port. It was the largest seizure of mushrooms by customs officials this year, and largest in the last few years, UDN reported.
Customs officers discovered more than 10 tons of dried mushrooms from mainland China in two 40-foot containers from Hong Kong that were documented as shipping LCD panels. The market value of the mushrooms is about NT$10 million (US$332,000).
Officers said that the price of mushrooms has risen since prior to Dragon Boat Festival. While high-quality dried mushrooms go for about NT$1,000 per kg, mainland Chinese dried mushrooms are valued at only NT$200 per kg. Passing the mushrooms off as domestic products would increase profit significantly.
The top of the container was lined with real LCD panels to hide the dried mushrooms inside. Customs officers used a combination of x-ray machines and dogs to search the containers.
Officials said this is the second time the company has been caught attempting to smuggle dried mushrooms into Taiwan, with the first instance in January in Taichung.
Police continue to investigate the smuggling and have found that the company, which is reportedly owned by a 66-year-old man, only has NT$250,000 in capital.