Two Russian men were arrested for smuggling bear paws into China at a China-Russia land border in northern China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Chinese customs police announced recently.
On the early morning of May 22 when three vehicles from Russia passed through the border city of Manzhouli, customs officers carried out a check to find something wrong with the tires of one old, worn minivan.
They immediately conducted an X-ray examination of the vehicle, which showed abnormal objects in the tires. They sent the vehicle to a repair shop and removed the tires, only to find dozens of bear paws hidden in them.
A total of 213 bear paws were found, worth about 2.8 million yuan. At present, two Russian nationals have been detained.
Customs officers said when they carried out the check, they noticed the van’s driver looked very nervous.
They also said they have busted smuggling of animal skins hidden in tires before, but this is the first time they have found smuggled bear paws.
Bear paws are considered a delicacy in some parts of China and are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
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