Zhuhai border police recently uncovered a smuggling ring that was attempting to transport 956 frozen pangolins, weighing four tons, in Guangdong. Pangolins, for those who aren’t up to speed on their nocturnal ant-eater relatives, are like large, scale-covered sloths whose armor is thought to cure cancer and asthma as part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. (Spoiler alert, it definitely doesn’t.)
An investigation is ongoing but according to Directory of National Key Protected Wild Animals, pangolins are a “second-class” national protected animal. For severe rare animal smuggling cases, criminals can be sentenced to life imprisonment or even death.