People, Environment

China Busts Global Smuggling Ring

China Busts Global Smuggling RingChina Busts Global Smuggling Ring

A three-month investigation in China resulted in the confiscation of about $4 million worth of endangered wildlife parts.

The wildlife trafficking case, which was code-named “May 21”, led to the confiscation of illegal wildlife parts, including 800 kg of raw ivory and related products, 11.3 kg of rhino horn and 35 bear paws, CNBC reported.

The total value of the haul is approximately 24 million yuan ($3.85 million).

The announcement came just days after China and the United States made a joint commitment “to take significant and timely steps to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory” during the recent visit by President Xi Jinping to the US.

Police said the criminal gang behind the trafficking had its own processing factory, warehouses and vehicles for transportation.

The operation uncovered a trafficking ring that stretched from Japan through Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland, where the gang was said to operate a network that ranged from Guangdong to Shandong and Beijing, using antique shops as cover for their operations and using online illegal trading and couriers for distribution.

“This successful operation has helped dismantle an entire smuggling ring and the infrastructure that goes with it,” Zhou Fei, head of the Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce, was quoted as saying by China Daily.

Since 2013, Beijing forest police have cracked 222 cases involving the illegal wildlife trade and arrested 108 suspects.