Russia busts smugglers of South American meat

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Russian police said on Wednesday they had uncovered a smuggling scheme in which a large Moscow company illegally imported meat from South America worth around $350 million.

"Founders and employees of a large Moscow company are suspected of organising the criminal scheme," the interior ministry's economic security department said in a statement.

It added that the company, which was not identified, was involved in buying meat in Brazil and Argentina and bringing it into Russia using fake documents.

The contraband meat was then processed in central Russia and sold to stores, police said, adding that in recent years the firm had smuggled in meat worth 10 billion rubles ($350 million).

During the operation, officials seized meat products worth more than $10 million.

© 2011 AFP

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