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"Black Market"

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Thailand/Bangkok. Bangkok International Airport, 12/2003 A shipment of Pangolins that were intercepted at Bangkok's international airport as part of a crackdown on trafficking in the wild animals, which are considered a delicacy in China and other countries and prized for their use in traditional medicine. A customs official said the latest haul was packed in boxes marked as containing turtles. A customs official said 'We found them in 102 boxes originating from Kuala Lumpur and transiting here on their way to Vientiane,' he said. Trafficking in the animals is expected to increase as the cold season approaches in China. Pangolin blood is consumed there in the belief it helps keep the body warm and enhances sexual performance. Wildlife poaching is rampant in much of Southeast Asia, driven in large measure by the insatiable Chinese appetite for exotic dishes and faith in traditional medicines that use ingredients from the animals. More than a thousand pangolins were seized by Thai authorities last year and they were also presumed to be bound for China. Scotland Yard, London, England 9/2003 Inside Scotland Yard's animal protection unit, an officer displays a tiger's head seized during a raid in London.


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