Half-tonne of smuggled ivory seized in Saudi

October 19, 2014
Customs agents at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh seized half a tonne of ivory being smuggled from Africa to east Asia

Authorities in Saudi Arabia say they have seized half a tonne of ivory being smuggled from Africa to east Asia.

Customs agents at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh intercepted the shipment, which was in transit, the official SPA news agency said on Saturday.

They found 588 pieces of different shapes and sizes weighing about 490 kilograms (1,078 pounds) hidden in the luggage of a passenger on a flight from an African country to east Asia, it said, without elaborating.

A 1989 ban on the has not stopped seeking to exploit a continued demand for tusks in Asia.

Poaching of African rhinos is increasing to meet demand from Asia, where the horn has long been used in traditional medicines for a variety of ailments, including fever and rheumatism.

Thousands of elephants are also killed across Africa very year for their tusks, which are prized especially in China for use in making decorations and trinkets.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the African elephant population has dropped from between three million and 5 million to approximately 400,000 over the past century.

In January, authorities in the African nation of Togo found 3.8 tonnes of ivory in port containers bound for Vietnam.

Explore further: Cambodia seizes three tonnes of ivory in record haul

Related Stories

Hong Kong customs make $1m ivory bust

June 10, 2014

Hong Kong customs have seized HK$7.9 million (US$1 million) worth of illegal ivory hidden in luggage on a flight bound for Cambodia, officials said Tuesday.

Belgium destroys 1.5 tonnes ivory stockpile

April 9, 2014

Belgium crushed 1.5 tonnes of ivory, its entire stockpile of seized ivory tusks and statuettes, as a global campaign to save the world's elephants gathered pace.

Recommended for you

Mammal long thought extinct in Australia resurfaces

December 15, 2017

A crest-tailed mulgara, a small carnivorous marsupial known only from fossilised bone fragments and presumed extinct in NSW for more than century, has been discovered in Sturt National Park north-west of Tibooburra.

Finding a lethal parasite's vulnerabilities

December 15, 2017

An estimated 100 million people around the world are infected with Strongyloides stercoralis, a parasitic nematode, yet it's likely that many don't know it. The infection can persist for years, usually only causing mild symptoms. ...

2 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

BSD
1 / 5 (3) Oct 19, 2014
this is crime and chinese stupidity, not science
tritace
Oct 19, 2014
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

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.