Eighty-three people have been arrested in a turtle-smuggling case that spanned 21 provinces in China.
The suspects traded more than 500 sea turtles, which are protected under state wildlife laws.
A company in south China's Hainan Province illegally bought turtles from fishermen and sold them to aquariums and individuals.
Police also unraveled a whole chain starting from fishermen to logistic companies and airport security guards to aquariums and individual buyers.
There are seven sea turtle species around the globe, of which five can be found in China. All are under second-class state protection.
Illegally buying or selling wildlife under state protection generally carries a maximum prison sentence of five years.
So far, 15 live turtles confiscated by the police have been transferred to a research institution and will be released back into the wild.
(Cover image via VCG)
(If you want to contribute and have specific expertise, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3