A coach driver caught trafficking deer penises and hundreds of other animal body parts is facing up to seven years in jail after being caught at a Russian border.
Coach Driver Faces Jail For Trafficking Deer Private Parts pic.twitter.com/5PthZ9Aqbf— NewsX (@newsx_media) July 17, 2023
Police found an astonishing haul of 550 animal remains when the Chinese driver was stopped at the Kraskino checkpoint in the Primorye region in Russia’s Far East.
The coach – part of a regular shuttle service – was heading into China where animal body parts can fetch a fortune for use in mythical medicine.
The parts – mostly from musk deers and bears – included 19 stag penises, bear kneecaps and teeth.
Inspectors uncovered the stash after scans revealed solid objects in the coach’s spare fuel tank.
Video footage released by Russian customs officials shows box after box of body parts being unpacked and laid out for inspection.
The driver – unnamed by customs officials – admitted that he was aware of the trafficking ban on animal body parts, according to officials.
As well as jail, the driver could be fined RUB one million (GBP 8,500) for breaching endangered species protection regulations.
In a statement issued on 12th July obtained by Newsflash, Russia’s Federal Customs Service said: “Parts of deer and bears were found by customs officers in a fuel tank in the Far East.
They added: “More than 550 derivatives of wild animals were hidden in the tank of a regular bus en route from Primorye to China.”
It added: “The inspectors noticed the cargo while scanning the car at the mobile inspection complex in Kraskino.
“The bus driver, a Chinese citizen, admitted that he knew about the export ban and therefore hid the derivatives.”
The statement concludes: “Customs officials opened a criminal case. The man faces up to seven years in prison.”
Russian customs officials warned that musk deer and bears are included in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
They emphasised that a special permit is required for their export.
One investigator said: “During customs control with the help of a mobile inspection complex, customs officers found a cache in the fuel tank.
“As a result, inspectors seized 518 tails and 19 genital organs of deer, three gland secretions of musk deer, 12 fangs and two bear kneecaps.”
The suspect is being held in custody while the investigation continues.
He faces charges of smuggling strategically important resources.