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Two Chinese nationals held with 162 kg pangolin scales

Gorkha Post

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KATHMANDU — The Central Investigation Bureau of Nepal Police has arrested two Chinese nationals for their alleged involvement in smuggling body parts of protected species to Nepal from Africa.

The arrestees have been identified as Qiu Guorong, 40, and Que Lebao, 34, according to CIB spokesperson SP Jeevan Shrestha. He said 162 kilograms of pangolin scales were seized from the duo. It is the single-largest haul of pangolin scales in Nepal.

The Chinese nationals, who arrived in Kathmandu from Istanbul on a Turkish Airlines flight yesterday, were found carrying the pangolin scales during an X-ray screening of their luggage in Red Channel Area of Tribhuvan International Airport Customs Office.

The Chinese national were handed over to District Forest Office, Kathmandu, for legal action under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act.

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Anyone involved in the trade of protected species may be slapped with a fine up to Rs 100,000 and a jail term of five to 15 years in accordance with the NPWC Act.

If a transnational crime is committed with the involvement of two or more members of the same gang, police may proceed action against them under the POC Act to demand a jail sentence of 20 years, along with property attachment.

Pangolin scales are in high demand in Asian markets, especially China, as they are used in manufacturing bulletproof jackets and traditional Chinese medicine and cost around USD 3,000 per kg in the international black market, a police source said.

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32 dead, 1 missing in Papua attacks, Indonesian police say

AP Associated Press

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JAYAPURA, INDONESIA- Security forces tried to recover the bodies of 31 construction workers and a soldier who were killed in one of the worst separatist attacks in Indonesia’s restive province of Papua, officials said Tuesday.

Papua police spokesman Suryadi Diaz said 24 workers were killed on Sunday when gunmen stormed a government bridge construction project in a remote mountainous village in Nduga district.

Citing reports from several witnesses, Diaz said, eight other workers fled to the nearby house of a local parliament member, but an armed group came a day later and killed seven of them. However the eighth managed to escape and remains missing.

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“This is the worst attack launched by the armed criminal group recently amid intensified development by the government,” Diaz told The Associated Press.

Separately, Papua province military spokesman Lt. Col. Dax Sianturi said an armed group attacked a military post in Mbua village in the same district late Monday, killing a soldier and injuring another.

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