SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Federal prosecutors say a man smuggled rare fish from China and the Pacific Rim to the United States. Bai Lin Huang is accused of smuggling in 26 Asian arowana fish and telling Fish and Wildlife inspectors that they were koi. Arowana bring $1,000 to $10,000 apiece in the United States, according to the indictment.
The arowana is native to Malaysia and Indonesia.
If convicted, Bai faces a maximum of 20 years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for violation the Federal Endangered Species Act.
“This kind of smuggling has been going on for years,” said Jack Gillund, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office. “We take very seriously any violation of the Federal Endangered Species Act and we will prosecute all offenders to the fullest extent of the law.”