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Two tonnes of elephant tusks seized in Vietnam

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Bujibuji, May 7, 2010.

  1. Bujibuji

    Bujibuji JF-Expert Member

    May 7, 2010
    Joined: Feb 4, 2009
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    Two tonnes of elephant tusks seized in Vietnam

    HANOI — Customs officials in Vietnam have seized two tonnes of elephant ivory tusks illegally imported from Kenya, state-linked media reported on Thursday.

    The haul was destined for China, the reports said.

    The tusks were hidden in 400 plastic sacks and covered with dry seaweed, said VNExpress online news site, citing the customs department.

    It said they were found in two containers at the northern Haiphong port on Tuesday.

    Customs officials refused to comment on the case when reached by AFP.

    There is a booming black market in African ivory linked to Asian crime syndicates, experts and delegates said in March at a UN wildlife trade meeting.

    The ivory trade has been banned since 1989 with the exception of a few one-time sales, but there has been a dramatic surge in illegal trafficking since 2005.

    Officials in Vietnam seized up to five tonnes of elephant tusks smuggled from Tanzania in March last year, state media said at the time.

    Last July in Tanzania six businessmen were charged with smuggling 11 tonnes of elephant ivory to the Philippines and Vietnam over the previous six months.

    China is one of the world's biggest markets for ivory, which is traditionally used to make family seals for stamping documents, as well as decorative antiques.

    Ivory-based products also sell well to Vietnamese buyers.