HANGZHOU, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- Anti-smuggling police in the east China city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, have busted a smuggling gang and made the largest seizure of pangolin scales by Chinese customs so far this year.
The Wenzhou branch of the Hangzhou customs anti-smuggling bureau traced the gang's smuggling activities after seizing 306 packages of pangolin scales weighing 10.65 tonnes.
So far, police have seized a total of 23.21 tonnes of pangolin scales smuggled by the gang and arrested 18 suspects.
A police investigation found that the gang colluded with an overseas gang to smuggle pangolin scales from Africa to China.
The pangolin scales are all from African tree pangolins, an endangered species prohibited for international trade under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Anti-smuggling police said a pangolin has about 0.4-0.6 kg of scales on its body. Pangolins are listed as national second-class protected animals in China.