More than 20 people 'who sold protected wild animals on social media' arrested

More than 20 people 'who sold protected wild animals on social media' arrested

The group allegedly sold red pandas

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Police have arrested more than 20 people who were allegedly involved in selling protected wild animals by using social media in China.

It is thought the group sold animals such as red pandas and gibbons, according to The South China Morning Post.

A report on the matter was released this week on Legal Daily which stated that the alleged members were caught after a two month investigation and one of those arrested was an aquarium operator.

He was arrested in June alongside other people thought to be are involved in the scheme, who were travelling in Suzhou. At the time the aquarium operator had a red panda in the vehicle, the report says.

When his flat was searched authorities discovered red pandas, rhesus monkeys, lizards and pythons inside, a police investigator told Legal Daily.

These animals are listed as protected across the country and it is against the law in China to keep or sell protected animals.

Wang An described the scene as a "mini wildlife park" and added that many of the animals he allegedly sold were likely to be sold on again.

It is claimed one of those arrested was previously given a prison sentence of 13 and a half years and this was for charges of wildlife trading.