This photo released by the Korea Customs Service on Tuesday shows masks imported from China (L), which were later repackaged as being made in South Korea. (Korea Customs Service)
South Korea’s customs agency said Tuesday it has detected 256.7 billion won ($179.6 million) worth of imported items disguised as being locally produced through September this year.
The amount marks a 35 percent rise from the same period a year earlier, according to the Korea Customs Service.
Among the major items were optical instruments, with their value reaching 115.8 billion, followed by machines with 60.8 billion won and auto parts with 8.7 percent. Home appliances also took up 6.7 billion won.
The customs agency added 121.7 billion won worth of products were supplied to the government and public organizations.
“Disguising imported products as being locally made is a serious crime, as it not only deceives consumers but also hurts sales of South Korean manufacturers, leading to fewer jobs,” said Yoon Tae-sik, the agency’s commissioner. “We will bolster our surveillance.” (Yonhap)