Vietnamese customs seized two tons of elephant ivory in China-bound cargo

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Video Discription: Originally published on October 9, 2013

Customs authorities seized two tonnes of elephant tusk ivory in the port city of Hai Phong in northern Vietnam. It was smuggled in a cargo en route to China from Malaysia.

"We discovered suspicious signs about the container," said Nguyen Kien Giang, director of division number 3 of Hai Phong Customs, according to an IOL News report. "We decided to scan and open it and discovered the elephant tusks hidden inside packages of sea shells."

The importers declared the 27.5-tonne cargo to only contain seashells. The elephant tusks were chopped into three or four pieces to be hidden in the packages. No value was reported for the two tons of ivory recovered.

From Hai Phong, the cargo was supposed to be transported by land to the Lang Son border gate to enter into China, according to the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper.

Elephant ivory is prized for its uses in traditional medicine. It is also crafted into jewelry and decorations. Ivory smuggled in Vietnam is often destined for China, but it can be sold locally for as much as $1,200 per kilogram.


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