Hunan police bust pangolin trafficking ring

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/11/8 15:44:21

Police in central China's Hunan Province have detained 129 suspects involved in pangolin trafficking, the provincial forestry administration said Tuesday.

The administration said that 216 pangolins, 66 kg of pangolin scales, 20 Tibetan antelope horns and a batch of other wildlife products, as well as more than 18 million yuan (2.6 million U.S. dollars), had been confiscated.

The provincial forest public security bureau said that at the beginning of 2017, a man was found illegally selling pangolins to a restaurant in Hunan. An investigation into the case was launched.

Following the clue, a large pangolin trafficking ring involving more than 200 suspects had been identified after a year-long investigation.

According to police, the pangolins were trafficked into southwest Chian's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from overseas, and then sold to suspects in Guangzhou, from where they were distributed to other parts of China.

The arrests were conducted in Hunan, Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Hainan provinces and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Police are still hunting another 32 suspects nationwide.

The pangolin is under second-class state protection in China. Those who catch, kill, buy or sell endangered wild animals on the protection list can face more than 10 years in prison, plus fines.

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