HOHHOT, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese man has been detained for smuggling 672 kg of medicinal herbs from Russia to China.
On Thursday, customs at Manzhouli, in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, discovered the herb Saposhnikovia divaricata in the man's possession. Officials said Sunday it is the biggest herbal medicine smuggling case the customs office have dealt with in 30 years.
The herb is used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat rubella, cold, and joint pain.
The suspect hid the herbs in 58 plastic bags in a storage box concealed under the seat of the coach he was driving. The medicine is estimated to be worth about 300,000 yuan (43,600 U.S. dollars), according to customs staff.
Manzhouli is close to the eastern part of Russia, which boasts rich resources used in herbal medicine production. Some criminals smuggle herbal medicine from Russia to China to benefit from the huge price differences, according to customs staff.