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South Korean police book 15 over animal smuggling

Associated Press Associated Press 11/11/2016

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean police have booked 15 people for allegedly smuggling endangered animals from Thailand and showing them at small zoos or to children at kindergartens and daycare centers, officials said Friday.

Police in the port city of Busan seized 22 animals including Siamese crocodiles and slow loris monkeys, according to a city police department official who didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

The official said most of the animals were bought from Thailand in 2014 by a 38-year-old man identified only by his surname, Kim.

He said Kim sold the animals to other suspects, some of whom earned money by touring kindergartens and daycare centers for petting classes, putting the health of children at risk as the animals weren't properly quarantined. Some of the animals were also shown at small zoos run by individuals, he said.

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