Endangered panda in China. - Photo by AFP
Endangered panda in China. - Photo by AFP

BEIJING: Police in southern China have arrested three men for dealing in bear parts and other endangered animals, some possibly smuggled from Vietnam, the official Xinhua news agency said Tuesday.

Police in the Guangxi region busted the criminal gang earlier this month and seized “hundreds” of bear paws, bear meat and carcasses of other animals including pangolins and tortoises, it said.

The trafficking ring is believed to have slaughtered 43 bears for their parts, estimated to have a value of 20 million yuan ($3.2 million), Xinhua said.

In China, bear gall bladders are used in traditional medicine while bear paws are an expensive delicacy.Xinhua said the seized animals were sourced in Guangxi's Dongxing city on the border with Vietnam and sold across southern China.

Chinese authorities have previously seized snakes and turtles smuggled from Vietnam, it said.Police in Nanning city, where the men were arrested, declined to comment on Tuesday.

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