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Cross border haul of Ilegal bear and tiger parts seized in Russian Far East


Customs and the Frontier Service in the Primorskii province in the Russian Far East have seized a massive cache of illegal wildlife products bound for China.

The latest seizure includes 480 paws from brown and black bear and a Siberian tiger pelt and bones, as well as 20 kg of wild ginseng.

This is the fourth seizure of Siberian tiger parts and derivates this year.

“WWF continues to provide information and technical support to the Custom and Frontier Service to help suppress this illegal and growing trade across the Russian border,” said Pavel Fomenko, Amur branch, WWF-Russia.

He added that WWF specialists often help identify seized wildlife products.

In January earlier this year, law enforcement officials seized 360 kg of bear paws, three Siberian tiger skins and bones, and 531 saiga horns.

In February, Khanka frontier guards confiscated 130 bear paws.

In July, Vladivostok custom officials found hidden tiger bones while checking and processing official papers of a Chinese national when leaving .

Practically all the seized wildlife products except for saiga horns come exclusively from the Russian Far East.

“It is essential that the Khanka Lake section of the border be controlled, as we now know it is a vital conduit for illegal wildlife trade,” added Fomenko.

WWF says Russian Custom and Frontier Service authorities should ensure bettter control through the so called “Khanka hole”.

The Khanka Lake section of the Russia/China border is considered to be one of the most complicated and important thoroughfares between the two countries.

Legal proceedings have been instigated against the Chinese and Russian nationals involved in the latest smuggling case involving the bear paws and ginseng.


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