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Bear paws found in paper van

A TOTAL of 173 bear paws were found in a van carrying waste paper in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, an official with the region's Public Security Bureau said yesterday.

The counter-narcotics officers with the bureau held up a red van from neighboring Yunnan Province at a highway toll station in Fangchenggang, a city on the border of China and Vietnam on Sunday afternoon. Instead of discovering drugs, they found eight boxes hidden in the waste paper, containing 173 bear paws weighing a total of 384.5 kilograms, said an official.

Also stuffed in the waste paper were four pieces of python skin, the longest of which was more than five meters, and a dead pangolin, a type of scaly mammal.

Three men in the van have been detained. The police also detained a local paper factory owner who was due to buy the waste paper.

Bear paws are a much-sought-after ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine.


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