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Reptile fanciers convicted of illegal trade

FIVE reptile lovers who illegally traded endangered Chinese crocodile lizards on the Internet received court sentences yesterday, the Huangpu District People's Court said.

Huang Wentao, 26, from Guangdong Province, was sentenced to 5 1/2 years in prison and fined 6,000 yuan (US$950) for illegal sales of protected animals while his four accomplices received two-year sentence with a two-year reprieve and were fined 2,000 yuan.

Huang posted a notice in an online chat room for reptile fanciers in June, offering the rare lizards for sale. He sold three crocodile lizards to Huang Jie, a 23-year-old Shanghai resident, for 1,500 yuan and delivered the reptiles from Guangdong to Shanghai on June 28.

Huang Jie sold two lizards to his two friends who owned a reptile pet shop on Xitangjia Lane in Huangpu District. The third lizard was sold to another reptile enthusiast Sun Yu.

In a separate case, a 24-year-old woman named A'di was sentenced to two years in prison with a two-year reprieve for buying and selling two Siamese crocodiles, also on China's list of wild animals under first-grade protection. The court said A'di bought the animals at 300 yuan each in a pet market in Putuo District and sold them for 360 yuan.


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