Pangolin smuggling ring busted by Chinese police

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-1-15 19:43:18

Customs from South China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region have busted a pangolin trafficking ring who allegedly smuggled over 4,000 of the endangered anteater.

According to Nanning customs, ten suspects face prosecution for smuggling endangered wild animals in late December. Based on a tip-off, police caught 15 suspects, seizing five vehicles and 24 live pangolins in Beihai City last April.

The gang bought live pangolins in southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, smuggled them to a farm in Beihai City, and then transported the animals to Guangdong Province for sale. The ring appears to have smuggled 4,195 of the beasts.

Pangolins, which have second-class state protection in China, are targets for smugglers because their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are believed to have medicinal qualities. A whole pangolin served in a restaurant goes for as much as 2,000 US dollars. The scales can sell for 1,000 dollars per kilo.0
Under China's criminal law, those who catch, kill, buy or sell animals on the state protection list can face more than 10 years in jail and fines.

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