Smugglers jailed as China's 'biggest ever' illegal ivory network smashed

BEIJING, Jan 2 (AFP): Seventeen people have been jailed -- including two for life -- for running China's largest ever ivory smuggling ring, moving millions of dollars of tusks from west Africa into the mainland's vast domestic market.

Demand for ivory carvings and jewellery among China's expanding middle class led to poaching crisis across Africa, and although a 2018 ban on ivory trade in China has improved the situation, a vast black market still exists.

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