INSIGHT-China meat smuggling crackdown stokes risky underground trade
* International gangs routing meat via Vietnam, HK
* Beijing crackdown means harder to use refrigerated trucks
* HK smugglers use backpacks, earn $30-50 per trip
* Vietnam smugglers using motorbikes, sampans
* Smuggled meat 30-60 pct cheaper - official importer
By Adam Jourdan and Clare Baldwin
SHANGHAI/HONG KONG, July 16 (Reuters) - On a dusty industrial lot in northern Hong Kong, a group of travellers sheltered in the shade away from the pressing July heat, packing old cloth bags and backpacks with Styrofoam to protect a more precious cargo: smuggled meat.
Crowded amid the warehouses of Sheung Shui, a remote suburb near the mainland border, the group of around 40 are about to take frozen Brazilian beef into China to feed a growing demand for meat that is unsated by local produce or approved imports.
The part-time smugglers, known as "feet" within the trade, are part of an underground industry that has boomed since Beijing launched a crackdown on meat smuggling last year. Continuación...