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El Salvador launches an anti-smuggling plan for agricultural products with the support of the National Civil Police

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (MAG) is leading this important inter-institutional initiative to curb the illegal entry of various products of plant and animal origin that affects agricultural activity in El Salvador.

7/27/2020

The Salvadoran Minister of Agriculture, with the Salvadoran National Civil Police.

The Minister of Agriculture and Livestock of El Salvador, Pablo Anliker, launched the Anti-Contraband Plan that has the National Civil Police (PNC) as its main ally to identify, arrest and process all the people who enter through blind spots to our country in order to illegally market animal and plant products.

"As our President Nayib Bukele has indicated, we are working in coordination with the PNC to prevent the illegal entry of dairy products, specifically cheeses; likewise, we are making an enormous effort to combat the smuggling of agricultural products, ”said the head of the MAG.

According to the authorities, the main objectives of this initiative are:
  • Secure borders for the benefit of Salvadoran producers.
  • Guarantee marketing in a competitive and fair market.
  • Protect consumers.
  • Avoid tax evasion.
"Under this inter-institutional plan, we are going to increase surveillance and controls in blind spots on the border to prevent smuggling of any type of agricultural product," said Minister Anliker.

The announcement of this inter-institutional initiative was carried out during the Minister's visit to the Quarantine Control Post on the El Amatillo border, La Unión; where, in addition, he was able to see first-hand the actions carried out to stop the smuggling of agricultural merchandise, specifically of dairy products.

The visit chaired by the head of the MAG was attended by Inspector Roberto Membreño, head of the customs department of the PNC Border Security Division; Wilfredo Ponce Umaña, deputy inspector of the PNC Anti-Narcotics Division; and Israel Antonio Olivares, coordinator of MAG's El Amatillo Quarantine Control Post.

The authorities of the police corporation supported the Plan and offered full support for its implementation. They also asked Minister Anliker to involve more instances in this historic effort to make the Government's work to combat smuggling crimes more effective.

The Membreño inspector explained to the Minister that from July 2019 to July 2020, 151,400 pounds of cheese were seized, they were intended to be brought to the Salvadoran market, evading MAG customs, sanitary and animal health controls. The commercial value of these seizures exceeds $ 454,000. In this context, 9 people have been arrested for the crime of smuggling merchandise and 8 vehicles that were used to enter products into the country have been seized.

The most recent was this week, inspector Membreño reported: on the 21st, a truck was seized that transported 260 cheese marquees weighing approximately 100 pounds each, making a total of 26 thousand pounds of cheeses that are valued at $ 91,000. . "This vehicle was seized thanks to patrols carried out by the border security division," he explained.

"These seizures are important, because most products that go through blind spots do not meet sanitary requirements," said Minister Anliker. In addition, he said that the results of the laboratory tests that were made on the seized cheeses will be released as soon as possible.

For his part, Israel Olivares, coordinator of the MAG Amantillo Quarantine Control Post, explained to the Minister that they will continue to inspect products and by-products of animal and plant origin that enter under compliance with current laws and regulations, to prevent the entry of pests and diseases that put Salvadoran agricultural production at risk and thus guarantee the country's phytozoosanitary status.


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