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Smuggled snakes, tortoises confiscated in S China


19:56, May 21, 2013

NANNING, May 21 (Xinhua) -- A large number of snakes and tortoises were confiscated in a cross-border smuggling case in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, local border police said Tuesday.

Border police noticed a suspicious truck Sunday afternoon in the coastal city of Fangchenggang, according to a statement from regional public security border defense forces.

Police found 89 boxes of snakes and 24 boxes of tortoises in the truck, which was heading for Guangzhou, the capital of neighboring Guangdong Province, from the city of Dongxing on the China-Vietnam border.

The truck driver, a man surnamed He, said he was hired by a man in Dongxing to transport the cargo to Guangzhou. However, neither He nor the owner of the animals, a man surnamed Li, were able to produce legitimate certificates for transporting wild animals.

Police suspect that the reptiles were smuggled into China from neighboring countries.

The animals have been handed over to local forestry authorities, according to the police.

Forestry authorities said they will release healthy animals into the wild, while others will be transferred to local animal rescue centers.

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