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2 sentenced for trading in rare tortoises

2 sentenced for trading in rare tortoises

TWO men who raised and traded rare tortoises have been convicted of illegally buying and selling endangered wildlife.

Jing’an District People’s Court said one of the men surnamed Zhao was granted one and half years of reprieves from an 18-month jail sentence. The other surnamed Yu received a three-year reprieve from a three-year sentence. Each defendant was fined 10,000 yuan (US$1,475).

Investigation showed the men bought endangered tortoises through illegal channels, which were not disclosed by the court. Police raided their base last March, seizing six tortoises from Zhao and 11 from Yu.

Species include leopard tortoise, African spurred tortoise, Burmese star tortoise, radiated tortoise and Hermann’s tortoise — all of them species near to extinction and all under protected status, the court said.

The two men claimed they raised tortoises as pets and sometimes traded them with other tortoise enthusiasts.

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