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3 arrested in China for smuggling tiger bones

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Beijing:  Three people including a mother and her son have been arrested by police in southwest China for smuggling 219 products worth about USD 220,000 made from protected animals including tigers and rhinoceros.

The Mangshi forest police of Yunnan province received tip-offs on the smugglers from local people in July, a statement by police said today.

Police found the suspects were owners of a shop selling wood carvings.

After three weeks of investigation, a woman surnamed Huang, her son and nephew were arrested by police, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 219 tiger bones, rhino horns, ivory products and African lion paws were seized. Combined value exceeded 1.39 million yuan (about USD 220,000).

“I have worked 20 years in the police, and I’ve never seen such a large quantity of trafficked wild life parts. Some are made from endangered animals,” said Hu Jiaguo, deputy director of Mangshi forest police bureau.

Tigers bones are in demand in China as they are used in Chinese medicine.

Police say the parts and products were smuggled from other countries to sell to Chinese buyers. Further investigation is underway.

Smuggling parts of protected wild life can result in a prison sentence from five to ten years.

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