Cache of sea cucumbers seized at US-Mexico border - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Cache of sea cucumbers seized at US-Mexico border

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SAN DIEGO (AP) - Customs officials say they seized 343 pounds of sea cucumbers at the San Ysidro port of entry as smugglers tried to bring the Asian culinary delicacy into the U.S. from Mexico.

Inspectors found undeclared sea cucumbers in a minivan in San Diego Sunday afternoon.

Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Jackie Dizdul says the oblong marine animals were hidden in the luggage of two Chinese citizens, a 51-year-old man and his 24-year-old son.

The two were fined $15,264 and their U.S. visas were canceled.

Dizdul says all imported food must be declared, especially large quantities intended for commercial use.

Sea cucumbers are eaten in soups in Asia, where they are harvested from the ocean bottom and dried. They go for about $45 per pound in the U.S.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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