Authorities from the Ministry of Commerce’s Consumer Protection and Fraud Repression Department burnt 449 boxes of shrimp weighing 11 tonnes that were imported from Vietnam on Saturday as they lacked the proper permits and were found to have a jelly-like chemical substance on them.
Department deputy director Kong Vuthy said three businesspeople were reprimanded and required to sign a contract forbidding them from illegally importing foods in the future.
The three vehicles used to transport the shrimp to Phnom Penh through the Prek Chak border are being held at the department’s office as evidence for further legal action.
The department’s Facebook page said the lorries were stopped on National Roads 3 and 4 in Kambol and Dangkor district.
Dangkor district police chief Chim Sitha confirmed on Sunday that the shrimp was burnt at a landfill in Dankor.
“I know that authorities took the shrimp to be burnt at the Dankor landfill, but we did not join in. We only joined the crackdown on May 29 and then handed the case over to the experts,” he said.
Vuthy said while the substance found on the shrimp wasn’t necessarily harmful to humans, it still made the shrimp unfit to be sold in Phnom Penh.
He said: “In 11 tonnes of shrimp, we found a type of chemical that looks like jelly, but it does not cause health problems to people, rather it enabled the shrimps to grow bigger and heavier.
“These businesspeople are not employed by a company, but they buy goods from Vietnam without proper permission letters and deliver them to be sold in Phnom Penh.”
Vuthy said the operation was carried out in conjunction with Phnom Penh police officers in charge of economic crimes and was facilitated by municipal deputy prosecutor Seng Heang.