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Greed prompts company to sell cheap foreign mangoes

Date Posted: 2008-08-08

Churashima Foods was selling Miyako Jima mangoes on the internet, a business everyone called profitable.

Police and angry customers are now discovering how profitable the Urasoe City-based company’s business really was, learning that the Miyako mangoes aren’t Miyako mangoes. The Churashima Foods owner has confessed that his company imported cheap Taiwanese mangoes, then sold them as Miyako Jima brand mangoes.

Over a 15-month period of deception, Churashima Foods sold more than 3,000 kilograms of Taiwan mangoes, passing them off as Miyako mangoes by placing seals on the mango boxes that certified them as Miyako Mango. Every mango handled by the food company sold out online, a lucrative business made more so by the use of a lesser quality product.

The owner admitted the substitutions began after he didn’t have enough Miyako Jima mangoes to sell. “Besides, Miyako Jima Mango is so expensive,” he said. “Miyako mango fruit is six times higher than Taiwan mango, so I must have given in to temptation to have done such a bad thing.”

The Churashima Foods wholesale price for the mangoes was ¥800 per kilogram, but retailed about ¥5,000 higher than other businesses. Police estimate the company made an extra ¥10 million by switching Taiwan mangoes for the sought after Miyako product. The scheme was uncovered after customers, angry at being duped by the cheap Taiwan mangoes, began complaining to police.

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