SHANGHAI (XINHUA) – A court in Shanghai has sentenced a woman to seven years in prison for smuggling pangolin scales, with a fine of 100,000 yuan (S$20,300).
The Shanghai No 3 Intermediate People’s Court heard that the defendant surnamed Li, together with others, flew to Shanghai Pudong International Airport from abroad on Nov 26, 2017 and May 18, 2018 with a large number of suspected pangolin scales in their luggage but without any customs declaration.
The scales seized by police were identified as pangolin scales, with a total weight of 110.45 kg.
After the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, China has stepped up efforts in cracking down on illegal activities related to wildlife. Researchers believe the virus most likely came from wild animals and possibly jumped to humans in a wildlife market in Wuhan.
China’s top legislature has adopted a decision banning illegal trading of wildlife and eliminating the consumption of wild animals.