U.S. Customs finds, confiscates beef being smuggled into Houston at IAH

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Saturday, August 22, 2015

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- A 20-year-old woman coming to Houston from Vietnam was fined $300 for trying to smuggle prohibited beef products into the U.S.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists at George Bush Intercontinental Airport made the discovery August 20. The packages identified the packaged meat as fish, shrimp and squid, but specialists determined it was actually beef.

"Beef is either restricted or prohibited from certain countries depending on the types of animal diseases which are prevalent in the beef's country of origin. In this instance, the packaged meat originated in Vietnam where Foot and Mouth disease is prevalent," a U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release stated.

CBP agriculture specialists confiscated a total 11 pounds of prohibited beef.

"CBP agriculture specialist are vigilant in their mission to protect American agriculture from intentional and unintentional biological threats," said Houston CBP Port Director Charles Perez. "The risk of introducing plant and animal disease into our agriculture is real, and we are deeply committed to disrupting smuggling attempts that endanger our food sources."