Hong Kong customs seize over a tonne of smuggled ivory

Nov 16, 2012
Seized pieces of unpolished tusks are displayed during a press conference by customs officials in Hong Kong. Hong Kong customs officers have seized more than a tonne of unprocessed elephant tusks worth around $1.37 million on the Chinese ivory market, officials said.

Hong Kong customs officers have seized more than a tonne of unprocessed elephant tusks worth around $1.37 million on the Chinese ivory market, officials said on Friday.

Forty five bags carrying 569 pieces of unpolished tusks weighing about 1,330 kilogrammes (2,932 pounds) were seized on Thursday in a container from Tanzania, officials said.

"These ivory tusks were concealed with other normal goods. There were 400 bags of used as concealment," Group Head of Ports and Maritime Command Wong Sui-hang said.

The tusks left Tanzania by ship and were transferred to another vessel in Dubai before making the journey to Hong Kong, Wong said.

Anyone found guilty of importing ivory into Hong Kong faces up to two years in jail and a fine of HK$5 million ($645,000). Even so, the city remains a major trading centre for processed ivory goods such as carvings and jewellery.

Customs officers made the southern Chinese city's largest ivory seizure in October when they intercepted almost four tonnes worth about $3.4 million, hidden in shipments from Kenya and Tanzania.

The 1,209 pieces of raw ivory tusk and a small number of ivory were discovered in two containers masked "plastic scrap" and "beans".

The in ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since 1989 after populations dropped from the millions in the mid-20th century to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s.

Explore further: Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Related Stories

Hong Kong seizes nearly 800 smuggled elephant tusks

Aug 31, 2011

Hong Kong has seized nearly two tonnes of elephant ivory worth about $1.7 million hidden in a shipment from Malaysia and detained a local man over the haul, customs authorities said Wednesday.

Malaysia seizes million-dollar ivory shipment

Dec 13, 2011

Malaysia has seized elephant tusks and ivory handicrafts worth an estimated four million ringgit ($1.3 million) en route from Kenya to Cambodia, a customs official said Tuesday.

Malaysia seizes nearly 700 elephant tusks

Sep 06, 2011

Malaysian authorities have seized nearly 700 elephant tusks bound for China, an official said, the latest in a series of hauls indicating Malaysia had become a key ivory transit hub.

Recommended for you

Cuban, US scientists bond over big sharks

Jul 03, 2015

Somewhere in the North Atlantic right now, a longfin mako shark—a cousin of the storied great white—is cruising around, oblivious to the yellow satellite tag on its dorsal fin.

Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease

Jul 02, 2015

Inadvertently continuing a line of study they conducted about 15 years ago, a team of Penn State researchers recently discovered the causal agent for an emerging turfgrass disease affecting golf courses around ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.