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32 sentenced to prison terms of up to 13 years in China for trafficking endangered animals

Thirty-two People In East China’s Zhejiang Province Have Been Sentenced To Prison Terms Of Up To 13 Years For Trafficking Endangered Animals, Including Pangolins And Bears, To The Tune Of USD 15 Million.

PTI | Updated on: 08 Jun 2016, 04:20:26 PM
Pangolins, which are under second-class state protection in China, are often smuggled because their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are believed to be effective in treating skin and other diseases.

Beijing:

Thirty-two people in east China’s Zhejiang Province have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 13 years for trafficking endangered animals, including pangolins and bears, to the tune of USD 15 million.

They were found guilty of trafficking 100 million yuan’s (USD 15 million) worth of wildlife, including pangolins, bears claws and salamanders, in 10 provinces and cities, the Yongjia County People’s Court said yesterday.

At a court hearing, the main culprit surnamed Kan, was given a prison term of 13 years and fined 130,000 yuan. Four were sentenced to over 10 years in prison and Kan’s wife was given six years in prison. The rest were sentenced to suspended prison terms of between four months and three years, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

More than 10 of the defendants were owners of restaurants and clubs who bought the animal parts and processed them as food, the court said.

Local police uncovered the case last year as they seized more than 1,500 wild animals in a raid. Pangolins, which are under second-class state protection in China, are often smuggled because their meat is considered a delicacy and their scales are believed to be effective in treating skin and other diseases.

Under China’s Criminal Law, those who illegally catch, kill, buy or sell endangered wild animals on the state’s protection list may face over 10 years in prison plus fines.

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First Published : 08 Jun 2016, 04:14:00 PM

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