A Vietnamese exchange student has been arrested by police in Japan for illegally carrying fermented pork rolls containing the African swine fever virus into the country.
Hac Thi Phuong Linh, 23, is being held at a police station in Tokyo for violating the quarantine law, her family said.
Vietnamese newspaper VnExpress reported that she was caught at Haneda International Airport on June 13 trying to bring in 10kg of the pork rolls (nem chua) and 360 fetal duck eggs into Japan without declaring them.Both items require quarantining before entry into Japan.
After testing, Japanese authorities revealed that the pork rolls contained the virus that causes ASF. This is the first case of pork containing the virus caught in Japan.
Tokyo Broadcasting System Television has reported that Ms Linh told the police that the pork rolls were made by her mother for personal use, but the police suspected they were for selling to others. During the interrogation, she admitted that she was planning to sell the rolls online.
After the ASF broke out in Vietnam last February, several countries, including Japan, imposed a ban on pork products from the country.
Passengers carrying raw or processed foods to Japan from Vietnam must have a certificate of safety, failing which they face three years’ imprisonment or a fine of one million yen (£7,720).