11 July 2024

Two cargo containers, left unclaimed by their owners at Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chon Buri province since 2021, were discovered to contain frozen pork and beef falsely declared as frozen seafood.

In the first container, Thammanat stated that several white boxes were declaring the content as “cheek meat” in English. It was found to be beef cheek originating in India. Import documents declared the cargo simply as “frozen food.”

The second container was found to contain 26 tonnes of frozen pork from Brazil, but the cargo was declared only as “frozen food” again. Three other containers were found to contain other agricultural produce.

Thammanat mentioned that 75 of the 95 unclaimed containers were opened earlier, in addition to the 161 containers that were found to contain illegally imported pork. These containers have now been destroyed, and the case is still under investigation by the Department of Special Investigation.

The revelation of the illegally imported meat was made yesterday  by Agriculture Minister Thammanat Prompao. He led a special unit, tasked with cracking down on illegal pork imports, to conduct a random search of several containers that have been left unclaimed at Laem Chabang deep-sea port since 2021.

The agriculture minister dismissed a news report that one of his advisors has been accused of negotiating with an individual identified only as “Thaikorn,” who allegedly asked for the release of 38 impounded cargo containers. He insists that the illegal pork importation case is non-negotiable.

He clarified that the illegal frozen pork found in those containers has already been destroyed by the Department of Livestock Development after their owner failed to contact the authorities within the required 45 days. The owner, however, claimed that they could not contact the authorities by the deadline because the related documents incorrectly declared the cargo in the containers.