In July 2015, instigated by the accused ZHUO Wen, LI Weiwen, the accused in another case, carried two suitcases and arrived at the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport by airplane. He entered by selecting the Nothing-to-Declare Channel and declared no item to the Customs. Upon check, customs officers seized 259 turtles from the suitcases carried by LI Weiwen. It was identified that the aforesaid turtles included 12 black pond turtles (Geoclemys under Geoemydidae) and 247 Indian roofed turtles (Kachuga under Geoemydidae), which were all protected rare animals in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora and the value thereof amounted to 6.475 million Yuan in total.
In the trial of first instance, the Intermediate People's Court of Guangzhou City of Guangdong Province held that the accused ZHUO Wen ignored the state laws, evaded customs control, and instigated other person to smuggle rare animals whose export and import were prohibited by the State, which constituted the crime of smuggling rare animals with particularly serious circumstances. The court of first instance made a judgment that ZHUO Wen was guilty of smuggling rare animals and should be sentenced to a fixed-term imprisonment of 12 years with confiscation of his personal property of 200,000 Yuan. The Guangdong High People's Court sustained the judgment of first instance.
This case is of smuggling of rare animals as listed in the appendix to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. Biodiversity is essential to human survival and development and wild fauna and flora species are important components of biodiversity. When the buying stops, the killing can too. Protecting wild fauna and flora is the common responsibility of the entire human race. As the contracting party of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, China should positively perform the international obligations as prescribed in the Convention and severely crack down on criminal offenses of smuggling endangered species. In this case, in violation of the state laws and customs regulations, the accused ZHUO Wen evaded customs control and instigated another person to enter China by illegally carrying rare animals whose export and import were prohibited by the State. The people's court legally determined that the criminal circumstances were particularly serious and that ZHUO Wen was given a criminal penalty, which has demonstrated the steadfast determination of the people's court in legally and severely cracking down on and containing crimes involving wild fauna and flora resources. The trial and judgment of this case have good demonstration effects on educating and warning the public to establish the legal awareness and to voluntarily protect the ecological environment, especially wild fauna and flora resources.