Police are working with some clues to discover the whereabouts of a cache of stolen, smuggled meat that had been deeply buried and sealed but was dug up and disappeared in southwestern China’s Yunnan Province, authorities said. Seven suspects have been brought into custody, they added.
A total of 249 metric tons of smuggled frozen meat, including beef, tripe and chicken feet, was buried five meters deep and sealed in concrete at a garbage disposal plant in Jinping County after it was seized by local authorities from April 8 to 12.
Local police guarded the site for more than three days, until the concrete had fully solidified. After the police left, however, the plant was overwhelmed by hundreds of local villagers, who broke through the concrete and stole the meat to sell, according to a report by Yunnan TV on Thursday.
“A special emergency meeting was held Thursday night to discuss what to do about the incident. And a leading group headed by Jinping’s Party chief was established,” said Wu Huahao, head of Jinping County, at a news conference Saturday.
After a preliminary investigation, police have some leads as to the whereabouts of some of the stolen meat. They are verifying the clues before confiscating the products, Wu said.
He also said local authorities have been combing local markets for illegal sales of frozen meat and have removed three tons of frozen meat found without proper paperwork.
A total of 22,000 square meters around the site at the garbage disposal plant has been disinfected, he said.
The police have been asked to root out and strongly crack down on those responsible for smuggling frozen meat and stealing the seized meat.