China seizes over 20 tonnes of smuggled wildlife products
Beijing - Chinese customs have arrested 12 suspects for smuggling 20.3 tonnes of products derived from wildlife under second class state protection, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said on Thursday.
Dried geckos, among other captured wildlife products, were trafficked by the suspects from overseas and then sold to medicinal material markets in the provinces of Guangdong, Anhui and Sichuan, according to the GAC announcement.
Geckos, belonging to a small species of lizard and mostly found in southeast and south Asia, are included among the wildlife under China's second class state protection and are an Appendix II species under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
In 2019, the country's customs investigated 467 cases of endangered species smuggling and seized 1237.6 tonnes of endangered species, GAC data showed.
The figures were up 2.2 times and 8.6 times respectively from last year, according to the customs. Chinese customs will step up efforts in cracking down on the illegal smuggling of wildlife and related products while cutting off trafficking chains, said a GAC official.