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Two Tons Of Ivory Intercepted In Hong Kong

Two Tons Of Ivory Intercepted In Hong Kong

Officials with the Ports and Maritime Command were tipped off about a possible shipment of illegal ivory headed to Hong Kong from Malaysia on Tuesday.

Upon close inspection, customs officials found 794 pieces of African ivory tusks hidden under a layer of stones. The collection weighed approximately two tons, and was concealed inside a container marked “non-ferrous products for factory use.”  The tusks were worth about $13 million and believed to have been poached from elephants.

“The authorities in Hong Kong are to be congratulated on this important seizure, but it is now vital to ensure that all leads are followed to track down those responsible along the entire smuggling chain,” said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC’s Elephant & Rhino Programme Co-ordinator.

Globally, illicit trade in ivory has been escalating since 2004 and Chinese consumption is considered to be the leading driver behind Africa’s elephant poaching crisis.

A 66-year-old man was arrested, while a follow-up investigation continues. Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.

The seizure occurred only days after the CITES Standing Committee recommended a review of China’s internal ivory trade protocol to determine whether there are possibilities for illicitly sourced ivory to leak into the legal ivory trade system.

A total of 164 ivory seizures have occurred in Hong Kong during over the past 23 years, collectively representing over 17 tonnes of elephant ivory.

Also Check Out:

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Rhino Poachers Get 13 Years In Prison

Image Credit: Hong Kong Customs/Information Services

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Beth Buczynski

Beth is a freelance writer and editor living in the Rocky Mountain West. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog or check out her blog.

93 comments

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3:05AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Everyone involved should be given a death sentence. Poachers don't deserve to live!!

The following link is a lovely and very necessary project that is being put into place to prevent poaching against rhinos in Africa, however they have a deadline in order to collect all the necessary funds, so please donate - even a small amount will make a difference!! Plus each donation comes with a gift sent to you depending on the amount!

http://www.indiegogo.com/olpejeta

8:59PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Should have tracked it further and arrest/jailed everyone who bought any.

8:36PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

Hong Kong Need to crack down on those receiving these shipments. Very sad.

7:52PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

they could stop this if they put out a bounty on every poacher killed and strung up for viewing ; pay out the same price that an elephant tusk would cost ! people would be catching the poachers getting paid and elephants would be protected.

7:48PM PDT on Aug 23, 2012

I hate Chinese / Asiains ! They are selfish heartless greedy bastards! all those lives wasted ,cut down in their prime of life . even baby elephants, also for their sex organs because the chinese have trouble performing and they think the dead rotting penis or balls or vulva of a elephant will do for them what they lack in size ,performance and ability! they are a disgusting race

6:23AM PDT on Aug 18, 2012

Horrendous. China must change and educate people.

8:23AM PST on Feb 21, 2012

‎"The greatness of a nation and it's moral progress can be determined by the ways it treats it's animals."
Mahatma Gandhi

2:17PM PST on Feb 15, 2012

Those poor elephants!!!!

1:48PM PST on Feb 14, 2012

I talked to an elephant sanctuary awhile back about the idea that someone could come up with an ingredient, either a stain that would render the tusks unusable for carvings, etc., but still usable by the elephants. I wish someone could come up with something like that. It would stop this terrible killing of elephants.

3:32PM PST on Dec 29, 2011

cannot believe - such quantity ? What is so difficult to stop these kind of things ?

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