Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


China, Africa arrest cross-border ivory smuggler

10 February 2014, 08:10

Beijing - A suspected Chinese ivory smuggler had been apprehended in Kenya after coordinated efforts between the two countries, China's wildlife authorities said on Monday.

The suspect, surnamed Xue, was caught in Nairobi on 17 January by Kenyan authorities, and extradited to China the next day, said the China Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office.

It is the first time China has arrested a wildlife crime suspect overseas.

Xue is said to have led an ivory trafficking group in Kenya for a long time, and hired couriers to smuggle ivory into China.

The rest two suspects of the group, surnamed Zheng and Li, were netted on Jan. 16 and 17 when they were entering China. So far, all the suspects in the group have been caught.

The arrests were part of the operation, dubbed Cobra II, launched by China as well as several countries in Asia, Africa and north America to crack down on wildlife crimes from the end of 2013 to the beginning of 2014.


A luggage of a passenger who was trying to enter China attracted attention of the customs staff at the Taoxian airport in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning Province in northeast China, on Nov. 27, 2013.

X-ray scanner showed the goods in the luggage were almost the same: small ball-shaped things.

The passenger, also surnamed Zheng, opened the luggage at the request of the customs staff. Inside the luggage were several layers of well-sealed opaque bags. On the bags were signs claiming there were nuts inside.

Zheng was very calm and cooperative, saying he was entrusted to get the nuts for kids and he had nothing to declare.

He tore open a bag for the customs staff to taste and tried to give two bags to them.

His composure, however, did not get by.

Customs staff took a bag from the bottom layer, and it was remarkably of different weight with those on the upper layers.

Based on their experiences, they doubted Zheng was smuggling ivory products. Further investigation proved this, 1,226 ivory beads with a diameter of 1.8 to 2 centimeters totaling 8.77 kilograms were found in the luggage.

Further investigation followed and tracked Xue to Kenya. Xue hid in Kenya and remotely controlled mules to smuggle ivory into China. Xue has allegedly built a crime ring on purchase, transport and sales.


Customs police in Shenyang found Xue and Zheng have been buying ivory in Kenya illegally and paying mules for 5,000 to 10,000 yuan (1,639 U.S. dollars) for each smuggling.

Xue's girlfriend, surnamed Li, is said to have helped with customs clearance.

The customs police also found clues that Xue and Zheng were hiding in Kenya, and they will have to find ways to seize them.

Fighting illegal trade of wildlife usually demands cooperation between various countries and departments, but it's very difficult for cross-border arrests as such coordination between countries and departments is far from being fully established, said Meng Xianlin, deputy director of the China Endangered Species Import and Export Management Office.

China's General Customs Administration and the Ministry of Public Security sent a team to Kenya to work with local police to capture Xue. Though suspects have been arrested, the case is still under investigation.

Kenya is a major source of illicit ivory, and China is one of the biggest destinations.

"The unprecedented intercontinental cooperation will deter global ivory trafficking, and demonstrates China's determination to deal with wildlife crime," said Zhou Yafei, a senior figure at the endangered species office.

- Xinhua


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
What do men mean when they say th...

As much as men think they are the ones confused by relationships, they have a better idea of it than most women actually do. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
DP Ruto, not Kenneth the main man...

DP William Ruto will be the main man for the Jubilee Party in 2022, Kiraitu Murungi insists. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Jittery times for DP Ruto as Kenn...

Peter Kenneth is a genuine threat to DP William Ruto's 2022 State House bid... and the DP's allies know it. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
I will name those sabotaging DP R...

A Jubilee Party Governor says that he will name and shame those within Jubilee he says are undermining DP William Ruto's 2022 State House plans. Read more...

ODM official acquitted of defilem...

A Nakuru ODM official on Thursday broke into tears after the court acquitted him of defilement charges leveled against him by his 15-year-old cousin. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Man who attacked US Embassy a 24 ...

A man who attacked the US Embassy in Nairobi was a 24 year old from Wajir County. Read more...