Economy, Business And Markets

Smuggled Fruits Coming in Thick and Fast

Smuggled Fruits Coming in Thick and FastSmuggled Fruits Coming in Thick and Fast

Chilean grapes, French apples, Chinese pears, Egyptian oranges, Turkish peaches, just name it! Fruit stores are awash with colorful, expensive foreign fruits which snub their humble Iranian counterparts as well as the officials who put a toothless ban on their imports, Mehr News Agency reported. Earlier, the director general at Tropical and Subtropical Fruits Department in the Agriculture Ministry, Abolqasem Hassanpour, had warned that all such fruits have been smuggled into the country and lack proper supervision and may wreak havoc on local production by bringing in pests. “A pair of Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata) brought in by an orange is enough to reproduce millions in a month. Controlling such agricultural crises is no easy task,” he added. The official urged Interior Ministry and border towns’ governors general offices to stem the tide of fruit smuggling, since “the agriculture ministry is not responsible in this regard.” Echoing the same remarks, Agriculture Minister Mahmoud Hojjati said, “The Central Taskforce to Combat the Smuggling of Goods and Foreign Currency is the oversight body in charge of dealing with the issue.”