Huge pangolin seizure in China14/07/2010 09:35:38 Pangolins being decimated by illegal trade
July 2010. Customs officers in Guangdong, China, have seized more than 7.8 tonnes of frozen pangolins and 1,800 kg of pangolin scales from a fishing vessel after it was stopped for inspection.
International trade in Asian pangolin species is banned under CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). Two of the four species are classified as Endangered by IUCN.
2090 frozen pangolins
The crew of 5 Chinese and 1 Malaysian national were arrested; they claimed they had been hired to sail the vessel from Xiangzhou Port, Zhuhai, to South-East Asia to pick up the illicit cargo.
The Malaysian crew member was said to have received instructions by satellite phone on where to rendezvous at sea to pick up the contraband. The smugglers were intercepted before they could transfer the cargo to another vessel off Gaolan Island.
The Chinese authorities have shared intelligence on the seizures with enforcement agencies operating in the region, including INTERPOL, World Customs Organization (WCO) and ASEAN-Wildlife Enforcement Network and CITES, and are seeking co-operation with Malaysia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment on a joint investigation.
"Guangdong Customs are to be congratulated on this important action against wildlife smugglers operating between South-East Asia and China," said Professor Xu Hongfa, Director of TRAFFIC's China Programme.
26 tonnes of animal parts seized since 2007