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Illegal Wildlife Trade: Four Arrested In Indonesia For Allegedly Smuggling Hornbill Beaks And Pangolin Scales

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ILLEGAL ANIMAL TRAFFICKING
Indonesian forestry ministry officials show stacks of hornbill's beaks confiscated from four Chinese nationals, during a press conference in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Jan. 7, 2013. The Chinese nationals have been arrested for allegedly attempting to smuggle the beaks and pangolin scales out of the country for use in traditional medicines. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana) | AP

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Four Chinese nationals have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly attempting to smuggle hornbill's beaks and pangolin scales for use in traditional medicines.

Forestry Ministry official Novianto Bambang says the men were detained Friday with 248 hornbill's beaks and 189 pangolin's skins in their luggage at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta airport. Both animals are listed as endangered.

He said Monday the four were part of an international trafficking syndicate and they bought the haul from local poachers on Indonesia's part of Borneo island.

Demand for endangered animals in traditional Chinese medicines is driving poaching in countries in Asia and Africa.

Indonesia is home to 14 of the 57 hornbill species, which are on the brink of extinction because of deforestation and poaching.

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