LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles-area man has been arraigned on charges of smuggling millions of dollars’ worth of fish, including some that are endangered.
Federal prosecutors say Kam Wing Chan used his furniture store as a front to import endangered abalone, sea cucumber and Totoaba from Mexico and export them to Asia where they’re considered delicacies.
Chan is jailed with bail set at $25,000. His lawyer, Ryan Stitt, had no comment.
Chan and his business are charged with illegally exporting more than $3 million in seafood between 2009 and 2013 to companies in China owned by one of Chan’s relatives.
The smuggled fish fetch hefty sums in Asia. Sea cucumber, for example, can command up to $600 per kilogram in Hong Kong and China.
The U.S. lists black abalone and white abalone as endangered species.
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