9 Tons of Pangolin Scales Are Seized in Hong Kong

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9 Tons of Pangolin Scales Are Seized in Hong Kong

9 Tons of Pangolin Scales Are Seized in Hong Kong

HONG KONG — Officials in Hong Kong stated on Friday that they’d intercepted a cargo of 9 lots of scales from pangolins, the most important seizure town has ever made of merchandise from one of the maximum continuously trafficked mammals in the arena. 1000 elephant tusks have been in the similar cargo, officers stated.

The scales and tusks have been seized on Jan. 16, stated the customs government, who displayed the contraband for journalists. They have been discovered hidden below slabs of frozen meat on a shipment send that had stopped in Hong Kong on its technique to Vietnam from Nigeria, stated officers, who estimated the cargo’s worth at just about $eight million.

The pangolin is an anteater-like creature coated in massive scales. There are profitable black markets for it in China and Vietnam, the place its scales are pulverized to be used in conventional Chinese medication and its meat is served in eating places as a delicacy. Hong Kong officers estimated that the intercepted scales had come from just about 14,000 pangolins.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature estimated in 2016 that one million pangolins have been poached in the previous decade. All 8 pangolin species are safe below world trafficking regulations and two are severely endangered.

“The pangolin runs the risk of becoming extinct before most people have even heard of them,” Prince William stated in an anti-poaching video in 2014.

When faced by way of predators, the pangolin curls right into a ball. Hunters are stated to make use of machetes to kill them.

Officials stated the 39-year-old proprietor of a Hong Kong buying and selling corporate and his 29-year-old worker have been arrested in reference to the seizure. Under Hong Kong regulation, smuggling unlawful flora and fauna merchandise is punishable by way of as much as ten years in jail and fines of as much as $1.three million.

“Customs have done a great job,” stated Alex Hofford, a flora and fauna campaigner for WildAid. “However, we want the Hong Kong government to take a step further. At the moment, they’re just catching the mules, the people who collect the containers — not the people at the top of the pyramid.” He advised the government to let investigators apply massive consignments to their locations and observe the smugglers’ price range.

Hong Kong has lengthy been a port of access for unlawful flora and fauna merchandise, together with elephant tusks and rhino horns. Lawmakers voted final 12 months to prohibit all ivory gross sales by way of 2021, bowing to drive from environmental activists.

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