Singapore seizes biggest ivory haul in a decade

Jan 30, 2013
This photograph taken and released by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore on January 30, 2013 shows ivory confiscated by the Singapore Customs department. Singapore authorities said they had intercepted 1.8 tonnes of ivory from Africa worth $2 million in the city-state's largest such haul in over a decade.

Singapore authorities said Wednesday they had intercepted 1.8 tonnes of ivory from Africa worth $2 million in the city-state's largest such haul in over a decade.

The seizure was made following a tip-off, said Gerald Neo, executive manager of the and inspection department of the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

"AVA and Singapore Customs conducted a joint inspection on a shipment that was declared as 'waste paper' on 23 January. We found 1,099 pieces of raw ivory tusks," Neo said.

The tusks—valued at Sg$2.5 million ($2 million)—were in transit from Africa, a joint statement by the AVA and Singapore Customs said. The destination of the shipment was not mentioned.

in ivory has been banned under the Convention on International Trade in of and Flora (CITES) since 1989. Singapore is a signatory to the convention.

The statement said the AVA was "working with local and international agencies to investigate this case".

It was the biggest haul since June 2002 when authorities seized around six tonnes of ivory tusks and cut ivory pieces.

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