Ivory smuggler may face 10-year jail in Sichuan (China)



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22-year-old man surnamed Tang is likely to face up tp 10 years of jail for smuggling ivory into China, reported wccdaily.com.cn.

Tang, from southwest Sichuan Province, bought six ivory products from Malaysia through online dealers with 30,000 yuan.

He intended to resell them in China.

When the products arrived in Chengdu, he was scared to collect it as he was told that ivory sales and imports violate the law.

The smuggled ivory was found by Chengdu’s Shuangliu International Airport Customs in August last year.

The 12-kilogram products were valued at over 500,000 yuan by a third party.

When Chengdu’s Intermediate People’s Court heard the case last week, the court pronounced Tang guilty of smuggling ivory.
In his self-defense, Tang pleaded for a lighter sentence as he never tried to receive the ivory.

Under China’s Criminal Law, smuggling over 200,000 yuan worth of goods made from endangered animals will be given between 5-10 years in prison and must pay the corresponding penalties.

China is also working to crackdown smuggling ivory products into the country.

Last year, China jointly issued a statement with the U.S. on nearly-complete bans on ivory import and export, including significant restrictions on ivory hunting trophies, and regulation to halt the domestic commercial trade of ivory.

Authorities are also expanding bans on ivory.

Official numbers show that the market for ivory in China – both legal and illegal – is shrinking.

The number of wildlife smuggling cases last year dropped 70 percent from 2013, and the use of legal ivory for carved products dropped to about 80 percent in recent years.

According to International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the ivory trade is pushing endangered elephants towards extinction. Every year, 25,000-30,000 African Elephants are poached to supply the ivory trade.