Cooperation of other departments is necessary to prevent fish and prawns containing formalin from entering Yangon through Thai-Myawady border route, said Hla Htay, deputy regional head of Myanmar Fisheries Department during a regular meeting of the Myanmar Fisheries Federation held on September 10.
He stressed the need for Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to check the content of formaldehyde in fish and prawns that are cheaper than Myanmar's fishery products and coming via Thai-Myanmar border.
"Yangon is the final destination. Those fish and prawns reach Yangon after passing through Kayin State, Mon State and Bago Region. Yangon has a lot of entrances through which they can enter. So it is not possible for us alone to prevent it. We need cooperation from other departments such as Myanmar Police Force and FDA," Hla Htay said.
He added that authorities seized trucks loaded with fish and prawns illegally came to Yangon Region via Myawady in 2016 and 2017. Seized fish and prawns were sold at auction. Later, such seizures were stopped due to death threats.
"Our teams had to use our own pocket money to make such arrests. Then came threats. Openly speaking, event at Sanpya Market in Yangon, we know who imports. But we are preparing for arrests. FDA will carry out checks," Hla Htay said.
When FDA conducted checks in Mawlamyine market in Mon State on September 9, about 180 viss of fish coming via Myawady border were found containing formalin. Four shops were warned and made to sign confessions.