Beijing, Jul 7 (EFE).- Authorities in southern China’s Guangxi region dismantled a smuggling gang dedicated to trafficking in protected species and confiscated 2.2 tons of pangolin scales, state news agency Xinhua reported Wednesday.
Two suspects have been arrested, who would have taken advantage of the location of the region, bordering Vietnam, to buy the scales in the neighboring country and smuggle them to China, according to Xinhua, adding that the case is still under investigation.
Chinese authorities have redoubled their efforts since last year to eradicate the trade and consumption of wild animals, both banned by Beijing after the outbreak of the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan.
Some experts suggest that wild animal farms could be the source of the coronavirus.
Peter Daszak, a member of the World Health Organization (WHO) delegation, which investigated the origin of the pandemic in China earlier this year, said in March that the most likely route of transmission would be from bats to a wild animal bred in captivity and onto humans.
Last year, China listed pangolins among the top-category of protected animals, including pandas.
Pangolins are consumed for their supposed healing properties, according to traditional Chinese medicine.