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Indonesia arrests 4 Chinese suspected of smuggling hornbill's beaks, pangolins for medicines

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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