Environmental police from the Ministry of Public Security say around two tons of sturgeon are illegally imported from China into Vietnam every day.
The police launched investigations into sturgeon smuggling per the request of deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan following public outcry over the rampant presence of substandard Chinese sturgeon at local major markets.
The police said around 10 magnates have been running the illegal importation of the fish, the majority of which were falsely documented as having been farmed locally.
As sturgeon are raised in Vietnam's northerly provinces that border China, farm owners have been able to get away with labeling those smuggled from China as local products.
Sturgeon lacking documentation completely were brought into the country via Quang Ninh and Lang Son provinces, which border China.
According to police, before April this year, approximately five to seven tons of sturgeon were smuggled in from China on a daily basis, but the figure reduced to two tons after Vietnamese authorities launched investigations.
In Vietnam, it takes at least 12 to 18 months to raise sturgeon, while Chinese producers allegedly need just three to six months, the Saigon Times Daily reported.
As a result, Chinese sturgeon is sold for far less and in greater quantities than Vietnamese sturgeon.