Both Chinese and English media are reporting on the seizure of a huge number of smuggled wild animals discovered at a nearby port.
Thousands of wild animals were discovered at a local port last month, after customs officials investigated a suspicious vessel, according to a QQ news story.
According to a spokesman of the Shantou Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Ministry(CIQ) in the story, an illegal fishing boat had docked in Chenghai. The CIQ raided the vessel and discovered the smuggled animals.
A large number of nationally protected wild animals worth about 67 million RMB were discovered. In total, there were 5776 monitor lizards, 260 Malaysian box turtles, 1170 cobras, and 370 giant Asian pond turtles discovered. Unfortunately, most animals had died in captivity. Most of the captured animals were buried or burned.
Such animals are popular in cuisine here and are believed to bring health benefits to those who eat them.
According to a 2000 judicial interpretation, criminals should be sentenced to life imprisonment or even the death penalty for smuggling four monitor lizards.