San Diego

Taiwanese Citizen Charged With Smuggling Abalone, Sea Cucumber

A Taiwanese citizen has been charged in connection with the smuggling of abalone and sea cucumber in February 2016, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.

Wei Wei Wang, 37, who lives in New York, was arraigned Tuesday. Wang was charged along with 48-year-old Alan Ren.

According to the indictment, Wang and Ren smuggled 250 pounds of illegal seafood from Mexico--including 83 pounds of black abalone and 172 pounds of sea cucumber.

Black abalone, found off the coasts of California and Baja California in Mexico, are listed as "endangered" since 2009 under the Endangered Species Act. 

Isostichopus fuscus, a type of sea cucumber, are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). They can be found in the Eastern Pacific Ocean from Mexico to Ecuador.

Wang and Ren are facing charges of Conspiracy, Smuggling/Importation Contrary to Law, and Unlawful Importation of Wildlife.

Ren has not been arrested yet.

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