Sep. 1 (UPI) -- Chinese traders are defying new United Nations Security Council sanctions and smuggling North Korean crabs, clams and conch through the border city of Dandong.
The South China Morning Post reported Thursday that Chinese marine patrol stop monitoring cargo ships in the evening, giving traders an opportunity to embark on the four-hour trip to the relatively isolated state.
"Rather than patrolling the waters around the clock, the [Chinese] marine police get off duty in the evening, giving up to 10 ships from a similar number of trading companies ways to sneak to the North Korean trade zone during the evening high tide and load up with seafood before returning to Dandong in the small hours," one Chinese trader told the Post.
Chinese traders take the risk because the North Korean seafood business is lucrative.
Larger crabs filled with eggs sell in the wholesale market at about $9 per kilogram in China, and as high as $42 during the holidays.
They are obtained at a price of $3 per kilogram in North Korea, according to the report.
Traders also need to earn money to make up for the bribes they have paid to North Korean police, including more than $15,000 per ship, and to pay out salaries: about $10,000 annually for each ship captain, and $7,600 per crew member.
Gifts of "clean water, wine, cigarettes, lighters, playing cards and batteries" are also given to North Korean fishermen, along with cash payments in U.S. dollars, the Post's source said.
The Hong Kong-based newspaper reported seafood in Chinese waters has been exhausted from overfishing, and North Korean products are superior in quality.
Sanctions also mean North Koreans are careful about displaying their country's products at international exhibitions.
The JoongAng Ilbo reported Friday North Koreans participating at the 11th annual China-Northeast Asia Expo in Changchun, China, were quick to put away displays of sea cucumber, possibly in response to the ban on North Korea seafood trade.