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China Daily Website

Customs seize wildlife products from SE Asia

Updated: 2013-12-04 18:07

Customs officers in Jiangmen, Guangdong province, seized 11 boxes of snake skins and 232 boxes of frozen pangolins, weighing 7.76 metric tons, at the end of October, a statement from Jiangmen Customs said.

Five suspected smugglers have been detained for further investigation.

The smuggled products were seized from a boat in Jiangmen waters in the western part of Guangdong at night on their way into the province, the statement that was released on Wednesday said.

The longest python skin measured more than 8 meters.

Wild pangolins and pythons are under State protection on the Chinese mainland, according to the statement.

Officers also investigated and seized 76 boxes of pangolin scales, weighing 1.54 tons, plus 23 boxes of frozen tortoises from the vessel, which sailed from Southeast Asia, the statement said.

The seized products were estimated to be worth 18 million yuan ($2.9 million).

According to local customs officers, the large price difference of wildlife products between Guangdong province and Southeast Asian nations has encouraged smugglers to risk bringing such products into the southern province, which borders Hong Kong and Macao.

Pangolin products usually change hands at between 70 and 100 yuan a kilogram in Southeast Asia while it fetches from 600 to 800 yuan a kg at the underground market in Guangdong, known for its diversity of food sources.

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