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June 21, 2012

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Police catch 5 suspects in the illegal ivory trade

SHANGHAI police said yesterday that they busted a gang of five who were illegally trading ivory products in the city.

More than 780 ivory products including Buddha figures, necklaces, bracelets and pendants were found in their hideouts, police said.

The total value of the products was estimated at more than 4 million yuan (US$629,388), officers added.

Police said the products had "good craftsmanship."

The suspects own two jewelry stores in Huangpu District and disguised themselves as jewelry traders, police said.

The illegal trade was exposed in January when a man was caught selling ivory products and other rare wild animal products. Police then began tracing the ring.

Officers tracked the suspects to the Huangpu complex and detected the suspect stores.

Officers disguised themselves as customers and found the suspects were selling illegal ivory products.

The five suspects were caught in a raid on the stores and hideouts in May, police said. They have not yet been charged.

Most of the products were made of ivory from African elephants, police said.


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