Mammoth Bones, Skins Found in Far East Smuggling Cache

BLAGOVESHCHENSK, December 17 (RIA Novosti) – A cache of thousands of rare animal parts, minerals and Siberian mammoth bones suspected of being prepared for illegal shipment to China has been found in Russia’s Far East, according to the security services.

The haul included mammoth bones, jade, 3,000 musquash mink, marten and raccoon skins, bear paws and bear gall bladders, tree-frogs, and red deer antlers, the Federal Security Service said in a statement.

The discovery was made in a warehouse in the Russian border city of Blagoveshchensk, which faces the Chinese city of Heihe on the other side of the Amur river, the FSB said.

Smuggling across the almost 4,000 kilometer (2,500 mile) land border between Russia and China is fed by a strong demand for the body parts of rare Far East animals in China, where they are used in the preparation of traditional medicines.

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