Police seize 20 for trading in endangered species

Xinhua
The suspects were involved in buying and selling gibbons, macaques, lesser pandas, pythons and iguanas, according to Suzhou police.
Xinhua

Part of the endangered animals seized by Suzhou police.

More than 20 suspects have been caught for buying and selling endangered animals in east China's Jiangsu province, local police said on Wednesday.

The suspects were involved in buying and selling gibbons, macaques, lesser pandas, pythons and iguanas, according to Suzhou police.

In June, police began to suspect the owner of a local aquarium was trafficking endangered animals via contacts on the internet.

"The owner of the aquarium was caught returning from a trip to Chengdu where he is thought to have purchased a lesser panda," said Xu Youhong, a police officer in Suzhou industrial park.

The suspect told police that he had bought gibbons and lesser pandas and sold them through his online shops.

"Macaques were sold for around 15,000 yuan (US$2,300) each, and a lesser pandas at 40,000 yuan. An endangered gibbon was offered at more than one million," said Chen Xi, deputy head of the industrial park police squad.

The animals have been put in professional care, Chen said.

China's Criminal Law stipulates that trafficking of endangered animals can lead to up to ten years behind bars.


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