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Tiger teeth, claws and bear bile smuggled as egg rolls
A mainland man was arrested yesterday in the Macau airport for smuggling body parts of endangered animal species into the city, including tiger teeth and claws as well as bear gall bladders, all packaged in aluminum foil and placed inside egg roll containers.
The Macau Customs Service said their officers reinforced the inspection of passengers’ luggage after cracking some cases in which criminals tried to smuggle ivory packaged as chocolates. The latest attempt was foiled by officers who spotted dark images in the x-ray pictures of the “egg rolls,” and asked the 50-year-old mainlander to open the boxes for inspection.
Inside the 4 paper boxes, originally used as containers for egg rolls, officers found 78 tiger teeth with a weight of 1.7kg, 69 tiger claws weighing 190 grams, and 8 dried bear gall bladders weighing 300 grams in total. The authorities consulted the list of endangered species and found that these items are all banned.
Inside the man’s luggage, customs also found 30 packs of cigarettes without duty paid, 1kg of frozen birds nests, and 7.5kg of frozen turtle meat.
According to customs, the man was travelling from Indonesia and stopped in Hong Kong before continuing to Macau. The authorities said that according to relevant laws in Macau the man may have already violated the Foreign Trade Law and the Convention on Endangered Species. The former is punishable by a MOP100,000 fine, the latter MOP5,000; the items will be confiscated in both cases. Bear bile and tiger teeth and claws are valuable goods in Chinese markets, whether as materials for Chinese medicines or art and crafts. SC
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