Shanghai Approves Arrest of Two Travellers: They Brought Illegal Rhino Horns and Ivory with a Weight of More than 55kg. (China) Xinhua News, March 20, 2013 Today, Shanghai customs announced that two Chinese travelers carrying more than 55kg of rhino horn and ivory products and other endangered animal products were formally arrested by the Shanghai Municipal People’s Procuratorate.
In January of this year, regulations on a flight from France were placed, which led to the Shanghai Customs Clearance Officials taking 5 suitcases from 2 Chinese travelers, from whom 11 rhino horns and its products and 36 ivory products, whose total weight was more than 55 kg. after interrogation, the culprits admitted that they bought that they bought these products in Paris’s auction houses, antique markets and antique shops. The two knew state regulation in regard to these products but still went on to buy these products, as they were desperate for the money.
According to the Shanghai Identification Center for Wild Fauna and Flora, the two men were carrying illegal items which included a white rhino horn and rhino horn cups and other 11 products weighing 12.9kg, African elephant ivory products weighing 41.9kg and mammoth ivory products weighing 1.3kg.the total value of these items was 5 million yuan.
According to reports, Shanghai Customs has consecutively seized endangered animal products this year.
On march 2 this year, the Shanghai Customs Clearance Officers at the Pudong International Airport, while supervising travelers going into the country aboard a flight from Dubai to Shanghai, found pieces of original tusks which were wrapped in clothes and plastic film in yellow luggage. According to the arrested parties, their mother operates in South Africa in the ivory trade business. The Shanghai Identification Center for Wild Fauna and Flora said that the ivory included an entire root of an African elephant, which had been used to make ivory bracelets whose weight was 6245g. the value of that case was 1.7 million yuan ($284,000). Currently, these persons who were carrying these endangered animal products are in detention.
According to the Shanghai Customs statistics, in 2012, they seized 5055 pieces of ivory and other ivory products and endangered animal and plants, which compared to 2011, indicates it has doubled. In the first two months of this year, in passenger baggage and postal channels, they seized a total of 839 products of endangered animals, which has soared three times in the same period compared to last year.
Something worthy to note is, Shanghai Customs had never seized rhinoceros horns and its products in airport crossings, which has become an additional product that is regularly smuggled in the region. The Shanghai Customs recently seized 27 rhino horns and its products which weighed about 33.9kg.
China’s customs law and Wild Fauna and Flora Protection Act says that there is no relevant proof of import and export permit, within China. Once seized, the parties are held by the Customs Administrative Punishment as a result of infringing on a penal law and are thus held criminally responsible. According to the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, countries that have prohibited import and export of precious animals and their products are imprisoned for 5 to 10 years, fined and in serious circumstances, life imprisonment or long time imprisonment and confiscation of property.