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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Criminal Justice Quote: Smuggling Piranhas

     Federal authorities say a tropical fish merchant has admitted smuggling more than 39,000 piranhas into New York City [from Hong Kong] and mislabeling them as common aquarium fish. The Justice Department says Joel Rakower and his Queens company, Transship Discounts, Ltd., pleaded guilty on January 29, 2014 and agreed to pay $73,000 in fines.

     Piranhas are illegal in New York City and more than two dozen states. Prosecutors say Rakower imported the piranhas in 2011 and 2012 and resold them to fish retailers in several states Only 850 were recovered. [Piranhas are a freshwater fish from South American rivers.]

"Merchant Admits Smuggling Piranhas into NYC," Associated Press, January 30, 2014

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