Zheyuan Qiu, 33, was sentenced to five years in prison for illegally engaging in wildlife trade, while his wife and co-defendant, 30-year-old Ut Lei Lei, were sentenced to community punishment. Decree two years.
The two tried to mail 45 packages containing 17 species of native reptiles to Hong Kong and Taiwan, brutally tied them together with black stockings, and stuffed them into speakers, toy cars and other household items.
The native wildlife they attempted to smuggle out of the country included pinecone lizards and blue-tongued lizards, red-bellied black snakes, carpet pythons and diamond pythons, and two turtle-like animals.
Several of the packages were confiscated by inspectors from the Australian Border Service (ABF).After receiving information from the Border Protection Agency, criminal investigation officers from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Environment conducted a raid on the couple’s house in Belmore in Sydney’s west in January last year and found that their home was like a small house. The zoo has illegally raised more than one hundred reptiles.
The couple recently pleaded guilty to the court and were sentenced. Among them, Qiu Zheyuan was sentenced to five years in prison. He will apply for parole after two years and 5 months in jail.Wu Leilei must abide by the restrictions issued by the court and serve community correctional orders outside the prison.
The prosecutor proposed in court that the two defendants should be sentenced to jail in order to deter others from engaging in similar criminal activities.
The court was informed that Qiu Zhe originally instructed his wife to post the package to Hong Kong and Taiwan, and to fill in a false statement regarding the contents of the package, and to send the package under a false name and address.
They sent packages to Hong Kong and Taiwan from post offices in Belmont, Enmore, Cabramatta and Strathfield during the three-month period.
Qiu Zhe originally came to Australia from China in 2010 to study in the Art Park, and is now a permanent resident of Australia.The court was told during the hearing that he likes small animals and has a license to keep reptiles. There are dozens of cages in his home that keep lizards, snakes and turtles.
The court was informed that he had a low income and was responsible for raising two families. He tried to smuggle wild animals to obtain income to pay for the medical expenses of his sick father.Before each mailing of wild animals out of the country, a "generous" buyer paid thousands of yuan to his father's bank account in China.
The NSW District Court said in the verdict that these verdicts reflect the seriousness of their crimes and the improper cruelty to animals.
Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley said that the court made the judgment after the authorities conducted a two-year investigation into criminal activities involving wildlife smuggling.
She said: "The details of the case are too shocking. Unfortunately, it is too common."
"Australian native animals are highly sought overseas. This is a dangerous and attractive market, selling Australian reptiles to foreign pet shops for profit."
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