Spanish Artist’s fruit and vegetable stash seized at Punta Cana airport
Punta cana.- At the Punta Cana airport, technicians from the Plant Quarantine Inspection Service (AIPC) of the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Agriculture intercepted a significant quantity of fruits and vegetables in the luggage of a renowned Spanish artist. The seizure took place upon the artist’s arrival from the Bahamas on flight N768JJ, on the night of Wednesday, January 10.
The artist, who owns a villa in Punta Cana, was found carrying 42.16 kilograms of various produce, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries, tomatoes, beets, celery, beans, spinach, lettuce, mushrooms, and arugula. The intention was to transport these items into the Dominican Republic.
Engineer Rosa Lazala, director of Plant Health, highlighted the country’s reinforced measures in surveillance and inspection of luggage and passengers. This is part of the Ministry of Agriculture’s ongoing efforts to prevent the entry of animal or plant products that could potentially jeopardize national production.
Erick Montilla, spokesperson for the Ministry of Agriculture, emphasized the importance of these controls. He mentioned the collaboration with OIRSA (the International Regional Organization for Agricultural Health) in maintaining a permanent alert at all Dominican entry points. This vigilance is part of the protocol following the detection of the Mediterranean fly species, which poses a threat to crops.
The incident underscores the strict regulations and measures in place to safeguard the Dominican Republic’s agricultural integrity from potential threats posed by the unauthorized import of plant and animal products.