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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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7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar

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NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.

Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.

The injured are being transported to local hospitals.

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The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.

Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.

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