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May 20, 2014

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Ivory dealer facing life sentence

A 38-year-old antique collector is facing the possibility of life imprisonment after being charged with the possession of 17 kilograms of illegal ivory, Minhang District prosecutors said yesterday.

According to police, the man, surnamed Weng, paid a crafts store owner in east China’s Zhejiang Province 350,000 yuan (US$56,000) for the ivory three years ago.

He then shipped it back to Shanghai and put it in storage.

Things went wrong for Weng last October when he had to use his illicit haul to cover a debt. The person he gave it to went to the authorities after seeing TV reports of police destroying illegal ivory, and Weng was arrested last month.

Shanghai Customs earlier reported a surge in the number of cases of ivory smuggling, with more than 67kg being seized since the start of the year.


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