778 bear paws in a Chinese truck
On Friday March 19, 2004 Ussuriisky customs officers, together with the border guard, prevented a huge shipment of poached wildlife products to China on Poltavka checkpoint, Southern Primorye, Russian Far East.
According to the press agent of the Far Eastern Customs, the custom officers stopped “KamAZ” truck belonging to a Chinese company on its way back from Russia to China. It was almost empty, but the officers’ attention was drawn to a pile of things inside the container. The Chinese driver explained that there were exhausted accumulators and boxes with foodstuff there. Nevertheless, the officers decided to check the pile and, to their surprise, revealed 778 bear paws, 388 kg of dry sea cucumber, 42 antlers, fur animals’ skins (1,550 kolinsky skins, 1,600 sable skins, 53 raccoon skins, 30 fox skins, 155 beaver/mink skins, 2,180 squirrel skins), 280 musk glands, 24 bear galls, 3 pheasants, 3 deer hearts, 64 deer penises, 49 kg of frog fat under the boxes, which make the biggest smuggling attempt stopped on the Russian – Chinese border in Primorye for the last several years. By rough estimate, the damage amounted $100,000. Now, the case is under investigation.