Police bust tiger smuggling ring in western Guangdong

Lucy Liu , March 20, 2014 1:00pm

Last Friday, the police arrested 15 butchers for illegally capturing and slaughtering a tiger in Leizhou, which is part of the city of Zhanjiang, in Guangdong. One of the suspects jumped from a building to his death while trying to flee. The police retrieved a number of weapons used to capture the tigers, tiger goods to be sold on the black market, and the tiger’s carcass, Yangcheng Daily reports on Tuesday.

According to Zhanjiang Police, the 15 suspects are mainly from Baisha County, Leizhou; while the 16th suspect, who jumped to his death was from Shentang County. In total, 10 tigers were killed.

In recent years, tiger meat and tiger baijiu have become quite popular in Leizhou, and can fetch a hefty price. Although unconfirmed, it is suspected that the tigers were smuggled into China from Vietnam. Typically, smugglers find buyers for the meat or bones before they smuggle the tigers from Vietnam. Occasionally, they make the trip to Vietnam and then quickly flee after the sale is complete. Tigers are slaughtered in a variety of places to avoid being caught by the police: in the woods, banana fields, or houses.

Zhangjiang Evening Daily reported that some netizens have commented on Sina Weibo that [there should be] “No buying, no slaughtering”, while some said, “I am speechless. They should be sent to jail.” Still others have asked, “How does anyone smuggle a tiger?”

The case is still under investigation.