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China | Environmental watchdog group help breaks up ivory smuggling gang; prison awaits

Chinese authorities have nabbed all three identified members of a major ivory trafficking syndicate first exposed by the London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) in 2017.

In its 2017 report, EIA had revealed that the little-known town of Shuidong in China was “the world’s largest hub” for the illegal trade in elephant ivory. The exposé was the result of three years of undercover operations during which EIA investigators infiltrated one of the Shuidong groups and detangled the syndicate’s modus operandi, from the methods the group used to source raw elephant tusks to shipping and selling the tusks in China and managing profits. According to the Shuidong group, up to 80 percent of all poached ivory that made its way to China from Africa was first smuggled to Shuidong.

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