From the "What? That's Illegal File?" File
A South Korean woman staying in L.A. has been charged with the illegal importation of Bear Bile. That's right...B-E-A-R B-I-L-E.
It seems that Bear Bile is popular and used for medicinal purposes and as an aphrodisiac in some Asian communities. The woman was in possession of 2 pounds of Bear Bile, and the feds estimated the street value (really? Bear Bile has a street value?) at somewhere in the neighborhood of 4 HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. The woman told authorities she didn't realize it was illegal to import it and she had only planned to get 3-4 Thousand dollars for it. She stated she had planned to give it to church members that wanted it (Isn't that what all the Bear Bile Dealers say?). Apparently some of the church members wanted to pay for it, as authorities found measuring instruments, empty vials and the old smoking gun accounting book with dollar entry amounts written in Korean.
Bear Bile is harvested surgically inserting a tube into a living bear's gall bladder. It is considered a treatment for conjunctivitis, jaundice and hemorrhoids. And it is considered an aphrodisiac.
The U.S. Attorney involved in the case seems quite excited about the bust and had this to say, "We think this case is pretty significant given that she had almost a kilogram and she had all the packaging and measuring equipment. She could have distributed a large quantity to quite a few people."
Bear products cannot be imported without a permit because bears are protected under an international treaty and the Endangered Species Act.
And there you have it...another battle in the war on Bear Bile is won by the good guys.
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