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Chinese Man Smuggles Turtles Destined for the Dinner Table Across Canada-US Border

Posted: 09/29/2014 9:49 am

redeared turtle

An affidavit filed with the US federal court on Tuesday revealed a Canadian resident of Windsor, Ontario was arrested for smuggling 51 turtles hidden under his sweatpants while attempting to cross the Canada-USA border at the Detroit-Windsor crossing, reports the Toronto Star.

READ: Shark Fin Washed In Hydrogen Peroxide Sold To Unwitting Consumers

Kai Xu has been charged with smuggling and illegally exporting fish or wildlife by a US court, and may be sentenced up to 10 years in a federal prison.

Xu was found to have 41 live turtles taped to his legs, and another ten turtles “hidden between his legs.”

READ: Foreigner Caught Smuggling Live Birds
in His Jeans at Guangzhou Airport

This collection of “family jewels” included Eastern box turtles, Red-eared sliders, and Diamondback terrapins and are estimated to be worth between $1,300 to $1,500.

Xu was apparently planning to board a flight to Shanghai, but the final destination for the leg-strapped turtles was likely on a dinner plate.

Ed Grace, deputy chief law enforcement officer with the US Fish and Wildlife Service, noted that there is demand for the turtles in Asian food and collector markets. “Not just with turtles, I see it with ginseng, I see it with how wildlife in the United States can be, you know, coveted by collectors or for food markets,” he said.

Guangdong Province is often the final destination for a huge number of smuggled animals, many of which are intended for consumption. Previous cases include chinchillas, pangolins, another incident involving turtles, and another case of trying to stuff animals down one’s pants, this time involving birds.


Photo: the Star


iPhone 6 Selfie Spreads on Chinese Social Networks

Posted: 09/25/2014 11:36 am

smuggled iphone 6The delayed release of the iPhone 6 in China has led to opportunists in the US willing to fight each other in order to sell to Chinese buyers willing to pay exorbitant prices.

READ: Chinese Line Up Globally To Buy – And Then Sell – the iPhone 6

smuggled iphone 6Since its release seven days ago, over 2,000 iPhones 6 have been seized at Luohu border customs in Shenzhen. Nearby in Huaqiang North, a mecca for iPhone resales, the iPhone 6 is currently selling for RMB 6,800.

Meanwhile in Shanghai, 335 iPhones 6 have been seized at Pudong International Airport during the same period.

smuggled iphone 6

READ: Unreleased Hong Kong and US Versions of iPhone 6
Already on Sale in Beijing for US$4,500

Some people just don’t see what the fuss is about. China Daily reports that despite costing around $1,000, the iPhone 6 is only worth between $200 and $247 in spare parts. Furthermore, the cost of labor is between $4 and $4.50 per phone.

But that’s some people. Others will do anything to get their hands on Apple’s latest gadget, with the iPhone “selfie” spreading on Chinese social networks.

iphone 6 selfieiphone 6 selfie

With this much hype and anticipation, it isn’t hard to see why people won’t try to exploit the situation. Unfortunately an unlucky Wuhan employee was cheated by his very own boss.

The man, Xiaoliu, was promised that if he and his coworkers completed a project on time, they would all each be rewarded with “Apple 6″. As it turned out, this meant a reward of six apples.

apple six iphone 6

We assume, after giving Xiaoliu his prize, the boss said:  ”How do you like dem apples?”


Photos: Shenzhen Evening Report (2), Hong Kong Culture Exchange Net, China Daily, Weibo (2)


Man Smuggling Dozens of Chinchilla Pelts Caught at Shenzhen Customs

Posted: 09/16/2014 9:32 am

chinchilla peltShenzhen Customs announced it seized 56 chinchilla pelts from a Hong Kong man attempting to smuggle them through Luohu checkpoint on August 27, reported China Daily.

The smuggler, a man in his sixties, carried an old satchel and followed the crowd when entering Luohu checkpoint. During an inspection, customs officers discovered a vacuum-sealed bag wrapped with yellow adhesive tape. When they decompressed the bag, they found two bunches of animal fur, totaling 56 pelts.

The pelts were handed over to the anti-smuggling department, which had the pelts analysed. An investigation by the Research Institute of Southern China for Endangered Animals in Guangdong Province revealed the animal fur consisted of 56 whole pieces of chinchilla fur.

Chinchillas have the finest fur of all mammals, making their fur very soft. They have great appeal, like cuddly little “balls of fur”. Their exceedingly soft, dense coat has more fur per square inch than any other known mammal.

Each of their hair follicles is able to grow 40 to 60 individual hairs. One breed of chinchilla can grow 80 hairs per follicle, while cats and dogs can only grow one to three hairs per follicle.

The price of chinchilla fur is equal to that of gold by its weight.

The chinchilla is currently categorized as a critically endangered species and is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. While most trade in chinchilla pelts are done using domesticated farms, chinchillas are still massively hunted in the wild, threatening it with extinction.

Photo: Caijing


Hong Kong Arrests 23 Mainlanders in Prostitution Raid

Posted: 08/29/2014 8:31 am
vice sting hong kong prostituion

Picture from a story that took place in September, 2001.

Hong Kong Police along with Hong Kong immigration agents, arrested 23 Chinese mainland citizens in a prostitution raid, reports Sina.

The arrests were made in Yuen Long on August 27, located in the northwest of Hong Kong’s New Territories. The raid happened on Onning Road, Tunglok Street, Saufuk Street, and Chingsaan Road.

The arrested, aged 18 to 46, are suspected of staying in Hong Kong too long in violation of their visas.

All arrested parties have been detained and are being questioned by customs agents.

Photo: CCTV


Ebola Test Kit Officially Approved for Production in Shenzhen

Posted: 08/21/2014 2:14 pm

ebola virusA test kit that can positively identify the Ebola virus has been approved for production with manufacturing set to begin soon in Shenzhen. The kit was invented by China’s Academy of Military Medical Sciences, and is to be manufactured by Shenzhen Puruikang Biotech. It gained final official approval from the military’s logistics approval department and health department.

The test is able to identify the virus by using the virus’ gene sequence by means of a nucleic acid detection kit that utilizes a “compound probe”. That sounds quite confusing, so here’s all you need to know: it’s using the same technology previously used to develop test kits for the H1N1, H7N9 and NDM-1 viruses.

Because there is no vaccination for Ebola, doctors say early diagnosis is important for controlling the spread of the disease.

More than 1,300 people have been infected with the Ebola virus so far this year

Photo: International Business Times


Xinjiang Has Shunned Muslim Dress as “Not Normal” For Months

Posted: 08/7/2014 3:39 pm

muslim clothing ban xinjiang uighursThe ban on Muslim dress on public buses in Karamay City in Xinjiang was designed to help combat terrorism. But it turns out traditional clothes have been shunned for months.

The latest Karamay City ban, which we detailed yesterday, calls for an end to what it refers to as the “five types of people” who wear burqas, hijabs, face veils, any clothing that features the Muslim crescent moon and star, as well as long beards. And yet, this appears to be merely an extension of an existing policy.

As early as June 4 of this year, authorities in Xinjiang began pressuring the public to stop wearing traditional Muslim dress not just for reasons to combat terrorism, but also because it is “not normal”.

muslim clothing ban xinjiang uighurs

On June 19 of this year, the official website for the government of the Baijiantan District of Karamay announced that through a variety of measures, authorities will be initiating a crackdown on the ”five abnormal appearances”.

These “five abnormal appearances” are the same five banned from public buses in Karamay. Xinjiang authorities say the crackdown is necessary to preserve the safety of society, to facilitate better cooperation between ethnic groups, and to strengthen resistance against religious extremism. In addition to the Muslim dress ban, police are asking the public to resist the ‘three illegals’ (those who enter, work, or reside in China illegally), become civilized, and revere science.

muslim clothing ban xinjiang uighurs

Police engaged in a “stop and correct” inspection on June 12, in which they confronted citizens on the street for violating the ban. The next day the police substation in Sanping County met workers and residents of the Wuxin and Yucheng communities. There, they put up posters and informed residents that the five kinds of Muslim dress are not in fact tradition, but represent the “three illegals”.

The following is the poster that warns the public against the “five abnormal appearances”. A translation follows.

muslim clothing ban xinjiang uighurs

The Five Types of Abnormal Dress

Note: It is forbidden for women of any age to wear burqas.

Note: It is forbidden for youths, and young and middle-aged women to wear the hijab.

Face Veils
Note: It is forbidden for females of any age to wear a face veil.

Young Adults with Long Beards
Note: It is forbidden for young adults to grow long beards.

Crescent Moon and Stars
Note: It is forbidden for anyone to wear clothing featuring the crescent moon and stars.

[h/t reddit]

Photo:,, tieba


Chinese Guy Dresses Up As Laowai To Sneak Through Customs

Posted: 07/16/2014 5:40 pm
fake laowai foreigner

A still from the film, “Death Ray on Coral Island” (1980).

A Chinese citizen who attempted to sneak past customs by dressing up as a “laowai” was busted by police because his English was so poor, reports Sohu.

Chengdu border police officer Xiao Liu first had doubts about the suspect when he saw a discrepancy between the suspect and the suspect’s passport picture. Xiao Liu’s suspicions were confirmed when the suspect displayed an incredibly poor English ability.

When confronted, the man admitted he bought the passport. The man said he had dyed his beard and gotten a perm in order to disguise himself as a foreigner in order to sneak through customs.

Photo: Asia Obscurra


Hong Kongers May Get Reprieve If Special Mall For Mainland Shoppers Opens in Shenzhen

Posted: 06/25/2014 12:54 pm

qianhai economic zoneHong Kongers have long complained of Mainland shoppers clogging streets and crowding the city’s famous MTR subway system, but it looks like some hope may be on the horizon.

Qianhai, a special economic zone in northwestern Shenzhen, may be home to a “mini Hong Kong” featuring a special shopping mall with Hong Kong brands,  reports The Standard.

The Qianhai Management Authority revealed they are currently negotiating with Hong Kong merchants as they showed off the proposed area to Hong Kong and mainland media.

The report states that the Qianhai Management Authority plans to have the shopping mall developed and operational by the end of this year. However, the same report quotes Qianhai authority spokesman Wang Jinxia pouring a bit of cold water on the plan.

“The concept of setting up a shopping center in Qianhai to provide another choice for mainlanders is purely exploratory at this stage.”

The Qianhai Management Authority said the shopping center will be able to ease pressure on Hong Kong from the flood of visitors under the individual travel scheme. However, data shows that mainland visitors to Hong Kong dropped during the Labor Day long weekend, the first such drop since 2003. From May 1 to 3, there were only 388,070 visitors to Hong Kong, a drop of 1.7%.

And yet, others have been suggesting that mainland visitors who want to shop for Hong Kong goods be able to do so without having downtown Hong Kong involved in the process. The Heung Yee Kuk, a rural Hong Kong group, has recommended the establishment of a shopping center in Sha Tau Kok to divert mainland shoppers from the cool parts of town that Hong Kongers frequent.

This all sounds like a good idea that should have been implemented years ago, but one factor still remains unresolved. Wang stated that the Qianhai Management Authority has still has not yet decided whether the sales of Hong Kong products in the new “mini Hong Kong” will be tax-free.

For that, we may have to wait until the end of the year when the mall is finally completed or exploratory plans have been confirmed.

Photos: Hexun


Huge Shipment of Khat Seized in Guangdong

Posted: 06/23/2014 5:54 pm

khat bustGuangzhou customs recently announced that they have seized 2,069 kg of smuggled drugs since October of last year. As impressive as that is, it pales in comparison to the recent one-day haul made by Huangpu custom agents who say they have seized a shipment of khat that weighs an amazing 3,531 kg, reports the Dongguan Times.

If you’re unfamiliar with khat, which is also known by the names “Arabian Tea” or “Bushman’s Tea”, the Guangzhou police want you to be aware that this drug is equivalent to heroin and has a euphoric high that lasts for two days.

Described as relatively new to China, the emergence of khat is troubling to local law officials because the drug looks like amaranth greens when fresh, and like dried tea leaves when dried.

READ: Meet the New Drug on the Streets of Guangzhou: Khat, the “Arabian Tea”

Khat received lots of attention recently when it was reported the drug was being packaged in orange drink powder packages with cartoon images on the front.

Khat is considered a way of life for some cultures though it is considered a prohibited substance in countries like the USA and the UK. The World Health Organization does not consider khat to be seriously addictive.

khat bust


Photo: Dongguan Daily Report


Macau Tightens Visa Rules For Mainland Visitors

Posted: 06/19/2014 5:01 pm

macau customsIf you’re a Chinese mainlander and want to go gamble in Macau, one surefire way to circumvent existing entry requirements is by entering as a transit visitor on your way to a third country—but actually have no intention of going anywhere else but the craps table.

Sorry, Danny Ocean with Chinese characteristics: the gig is up.

Macau has just announced changes to its entry requirements to deter mainland high-rollers from coming to the territory. Starting on July 1, mainland visitors holding a Chinese passport in transit will only be allowed to stay a maximum of five days, down from an original seven, according to Bloomberg.

READ: Guangdong Residents Can Now Visit
Hong Kong and Macau with Their Fingerprints

However, some critics of the plan point out that the change won’t actually succeed at what it’s supposed to accomplish. Jose Pereira Coutinho, a directly elected legislator in the 33-member Legislative Assembly, said, ”It won’t help resolve the existing problem for some mainland visitors to travel to Macau without traveling to another destination.” In other words, they can still get a lot of gambling done in the new five-day period.

The last time Macau made changes to its entry requirements was in 2008 when it shortened the maximum stay from 14 days to seven. As well, mainland tourists that re-enter Macau within 30 days of their previous stay will only be allowed to stay one day, down from two days.

Additionally, China UnionPay has promised to clamp down on illegal payments made with handheld devices in Macau gambling establishments, an amount analysts say was worth billions last year.


Photo: deltabridges

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