Grocer arrested over illegal snakehead imports

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A Korean grocer from Los Angeles' Koreatown area has been arrested on charges of illegally importing banned Northern snakeheads into the country, according to a report from SignOnSanDiego.

com.

Sung Chul "Daniel" Rhee was arrested at the Assi Super market where agents accused him of selling banned fishes for food.

Attorney Joseph Johns told SignOnSanDiego.com: "We have a very strong, substantial ethnic Korean community (in Los Angeles), and many of them are used to eating the familiar foods they ate at home. One them is snakehead fish, and they like them to be fresh."

The Snakeheads, which are creating masses of media attention in the USA at the moment, are considered a threat to the environment, since they are extremely predatory, grow to a large size and can tolerate cool water.

Last year a pond in Maryland was drained after a snakehead was captured and was found to contain over 1000 youngsters which had spawned and overwintered in the lake.

Frozen snakeheads can be imported, but live ones have been banned since 2002 in the USA. The same species is also subject to controls in the UK.