A Vietnamese woman fined $6,500 fine for not declaring a pork snack returned from Taiwan Wednesday without entering the territory.
The 56-year-old passenger, whose name has not been revealed, was intercepted at the Taichung Airport in central Taiwan Wednesday after custom officers discovered her carrying two sticky rice dumplings filled with nuggets of pork as gifts for her relatives, Taiwan News reported.
A fine of NT$200,000 ($6,488) was levied for undeclared pork imports, but she said she could not pay such a fine and left Taiwan the same day.
The woman is the first Vietnamese citizen to be denied entry since Taiwanese authorities announced a NT$200,000 fine on travelers from Vietnam if they brought pork products into Taiwan and a NT$ 1 million ($32,400) fine for repeat offenders, beginning February 20.
Following China and Mongolia, Vietnam has become the third Asian country hit by the incurable African swine fever, which has been detected in five provinces and cities across the country: Thai Binh, Hung Yen, Thanh Hoa, Ha Nam and Hai Phong.
The flu is a viral disease that infects all pig species through bodily fluids such as blood and mucus. It causes hemorrhagic fever with a 100 percent mortality rate. There is currently no cure for it.
However, humans are not affected by the disease.
Since the first confirmed case of African swine fever was reported in China’s Liaoning Province last August, Taiwan has been on high alert, worried that the spread of the virus could wipe out the territory’s pig farming industry.
The Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) revealed that 127 violations of illegal port imports have been reported in Taiwan so far, of which 126 came on flights from China and one from Vietnam.