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Ivory smuggler gets four years in jail

By CAO YIN | | Updated: 2016-11-01 16:19

A man was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 40,000 yuan ($5,903) on Tuesday for smuggling ivory, a Beijing court announced.

Beijing No 4 Intermediate People's Court sentenced the man, surnamed Liu, on Tuesday morning, saying that he was found smuggling 52 products made of ivory in his suitcase at Terminal 3 of Beijing Capital International Airport in June 2014.

The value of the ivory was more than 423,800 yuan, the court said.

Liu, from Anhui province, said in the trial that he bought the products in Cape Town, South Africa. He claimed to have paid about 9,000 yuan.

The ivory, some of which Liu said he had bought for friends, was hidden inside boxes and shoes in his suitcase. He had wanted to process some of it into chess pieces, a statement provided by the court said.

"I didn't think the amount of ivory I was carrying violated the law, so I did not report the products to customs," Liu said.

The 41-year-old worked for a company in Xi'an, Shaanxi province from 2009 to 2014. Over that period, he went abroad about 10 times. After he quit his job, he went to South Africa seven or eight times and was engaged in a telecoms business in the country, the court said.

In his statement at the end of the case hearing, Liu pleaded guilty, adding that he will not appeal to a higher court.

It is not the first time that Beijing No 4 Intermediate People's Court has heard an ivory smuggling case.

In October 2015, a 38-year-old woman named Jiang Meixu was sentenced to six years and six months in prison and fined 60,000 yuan for the same charge.

Jiang, from Jilin province, was also arrested at the airport attempting to smuggle products made of ivory out of an African country.

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