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DEATH SENTENCE FOR SMUGGLING ANIMAL SKINS

8th Oct., 2004

In a landmark judgment on 5 October 2004, a Chinese court sentenced two people to death and another person to life imprisonment for smuggling 1,400 skins of endangered animals in Tibet’s Ngamring county.

This sentence has come a year after the Anti-Smuggling Bureau of the People’s Republic of China made the shocking seizure of illegal skins on 8 October 2003. The haul included 31 tiger skins, 581 leopard skins and 778 otter skins and was valued at US$7.6 million.

The Lhasa intermediate court sentenced the Chinese leader of the group, Wang Jie, to death while Gongbu (aka Gonpo), a native Tibetan, was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve. The third culprit, another Tibetan Laba Ciren (aka Lhakpa Tsering), was given a life sentence.

This news comes as issues of wildlife enforcement are being hotly debated by the 166 signatory nations to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok. A report released at CITES by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has documented the flourishing illicit trade of big cat skins between India, Nepal and China, with special reference to the seizure in Tibet last year.



 

 

 

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