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Chinese man gets three-year jail for smuggling ivory from Japan
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08:34, May 24, 2009

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A man in southwest China's Chongqing City was sentenced three years in prison for smuggling ivory from Japan, a local court said Saturday.

The man surnamed Cao who worked in Japan last May sold 1,510 grams of ivory worth about 62,900 yuan (9,200 U.S. dollars) to buyers surnamed Qin and Zhang through the taobao.com, an online sales Web site, according to Chongqing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court.

Customs police officers found the ivory in an EMS mail in September and arrested Cao in October when he arrived in Shanghai from Japan.

The sentence was announced Thursday. Qin was given a one-year imprisonment with one-year reprieve, while Zhang received a six-month jail term with six-month reprieve.

Trade in ivory was banned under a 1989 U.N. Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species that has helped in the recovery of the elephant population in Africa.

An increasing number of people are traveling and working in Africa. Some like to bring back ivory as gifts or souvenirs, while a few try to make profits, said Chongqing customs officials.

No one is allowed to bring the ivory to China if he or she has no certificate of import or export license for endangered species, they said.


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