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Pair Charged With Smuggling Dragon Fish Into U.s.


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Two Long Island men were arrested at the Canadian border trying to smuggle four endangered exotic fish known as the Asian dragon fish, or arowana, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials said yesterday.

The two men concealed the dragon fish, which retail for as much as $10,000 each on the black market, in the trunk of their car, said Kevin Corsaro, chief Customs and Border Patrol officer at the agency's Buffalo office.


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certain colors are... for instance the reds, super reds, chili reds, golds, etc are all banned.

silvers can be easily found here in the states.

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They're smuggled in for a number of reasons:

a) Tax. Asian arowanas are usually priced at thousands of dollars a piece and importing them requires a lot of papers, documentation and tax, of course. If importers smuggle them in secretly, they bypass all these requirements.

b) Stolen fish. Arowana farms have a constant problem with thefts among their valuable stock, and for this reason they microchip-tag their fish. If an arowana meant to be brought into the States happens to be stolen, its microchip will be picked up by Customs scanners and Customs will be able to trace the fish back to its source farm, and they will eb asked to authenticate the fish's exportation into the States. Well, wouldn't that be a hassle for the thieves, eh?

c) Illegally wild-caught fish. As Asian arowanas are endangered and protected by CITES, collection from the wild is strictly forbidden and only captive-bred fish are allowed for commercial sale. If smuggled fish pass through customs and they don't have the CITES-authorized microchip, they will be confiscated.

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