Two Mongolian suspects detained for smuggling snow leopard pelts in China

20:48, April 27, 2010      

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Two Mongolian men have been detained by Chinese police after two snow leopard pelts were seized from their jeep at customs in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, police said here Tuesday.

Customs police searched the jeep for more than 10 hours, as it had more than 40 hidden compartments for storing things, said Zhao Jun, a detective in the Customs Anti-Smuggling Bureau in Hohhot, regional capital of Inner Mongolia.

He said the pelts and a snow leopard skull hidden in the jeep were valued at more than 200,000 yuan (29,301 U.S. dollars). The suspects tried to smuggle the goods into China through a road customs check-point in Alxa League, which sits on China's border with Mongolia.

Police did not give the names of the two men.

The snow leopard is one of the world's most endangered animals. Smugglers of endangered animal parts with a total value over 100,000 yuan, can be sentenced to more than five years, according to Chinese laws.

Two herdsmen were sentenced to eight and 10 years in prison respectively for killing a snow leopard in northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in March this year.



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