Tuesday, November 5, 2013
CHINA FEELS PRESSURE TO CRACK DOWN ON BLOOD IVORY SMUGGLING
China firmly opposes ivory smuggling and will continue to work with the international community to protect wildlife, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday. Spokesman Hong Lei made the remarks at the ministry's daily press briefing in response to a question about three Chinese citizens apprehended in Tanzania with a considerable amount of ivory in their residence. China had paid close attention to the case, Hong said.
The Chinese ambassador in Tanzania had immediately checked the information and made a statement strongly condemning poaching and ivory smuggling, and promising cooperation in fighting the crimes, Hong said. He noted that the embassy called on Chinese tourists to abide by the law and stay away from ivory smuggling. China asked the Tanzanian police to act strictly in accordance with the law and protect legal rights of Chinese citizens, Hong added.
The Chinese government firmly opposes elephant poaching and ivory smuggling and has taken measures including law-making, integrated law enforcement and international cooperation, which have curbed the ivory trade, said Hong. China will continue to work with the international community in this regard, he said.... meanwhile in Tanzania
4,000 pounds of ivory found in Chinese smuggler's home in Tanzania (that's 200+ dead elephants) Over 700 pieces of illegal ivory seized The authorities in Tanzania have won a nice battle in the very difficult war against poaching and smuggling. In the home of Chinese nationals, they've seized 1.8 tonnes (about 4,000 pounds) of illegal ivory, over 700 individual pieces, and that number could increase because they're still counting and cataloguing.
It is estimated that all this ivory represents about 200 elephant deaths. Three Chinese national live at the address – Che Jinzhan, Xu Fujie and Huang Qin - and apart from the ivory the authorities also discovered special weighing equipment and a specially converted Noah minibus which was used to transport ivory and elephant tusks. The minibus also had two different number plates with one set being used for legitimate daytime business and the second set being used for the illegal transport of the tusks. (source)
Of course, the owners of the house claim that they were not involved in the poaching and smuggling, that they only operated the snail business, and that others are responsible. That's possible, and I hope that an investigation will find evidence one way or the other. But it still makes them accomplices in this terrible crime against nature; how many poor creatures have died simply because someone wants some bling-bling, a head to put on a wall or a pelt on the floor, some ivory carving to show off to friends.