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Shanghai police smash ivory smuggling gang

SHANGHAI police have nabbed five people for smuggling and selling 780 ivory products worth more than 4 million yuan (US$629,200) in the city's biggest haul of smuggled goods made of endangered animals since 2007.

The ivory products included statues of Guanyin, a bodhisattva widely worshipped in China, fashion accessories and seals popular among Chinese collectors, Hongkou District police said today.

Police tracked down the smuggling gang through an illegal buyer surnamed Gong in January. They found two gang members engaged in ivory sales at their stores in a large antiques market on Fuyou Road in Huangpu District.

Their leader Ye Zhijian and two other gang members often went to their stores and police stalked them to find their shelter in the vicinity of the antiques market.

Police raided their house on the evening of May 9 and captured all the gang members.


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