Monday, July 24, 2017

$9M US worth of ivory seized in Hong Kong's biggest tusk bust in 30 years

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7,200 kilograms of elephant tusks found in shipment from Malaysia had been labelled as frozen fish

The Associated Press
Posted: Jul 06, 2017 9:43 AM ET
Last Updated: Jul 06, 2017 9:43 AM ET

Hong Kong customs officials said Thursday they have seized elephants tusks valued at more than $9 million US in ivory this week in the city’s biggest ivory trade bust in 30 years.

Customs officers discovered 7,200 kilograms of elephant tusks on Tuesday in a shipment from Malaysia that had been labelled as frozen fish, the Customs and Excise Department said.

Customs officers displayed samples of the tusks piled on the floor at their offices close to some of Hong Kong’s giant container ports.

AFP_QC2R4

Customs officers discovered 7,200 kilograms of tusks on Tuesday in a shipment from Malaysia that had been labelled as frozen fish, the Customs and Excise Department said. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

The department said three people at a trading company in Hong Kong have been arrested in connection with the shipment.

Hong Kong, a major transshipment hub for illicit wildlife products, is preparing to ban local ivory sales by 2021.

But under Hong Kong’s customs regulations, anyone found importing or exporting endangered species without a licence or trying to smuggle such items into or out of the territory faces possible fines and imprisonment.

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