More than 2 tonnes of ivory seized in Hong Kong22/07/2013 07:56:59 Seizure of 1,148 ivory tusks underscores Hong Kong's transit role in illicit trade
July 2013-Hong Kong Customs have seized 1,148 ivory tusks weighing 2.183 tonnes. The tusks were declared as timber and concealed in a 20 foot (6 m) container that arrived on a vessel from the West African country of Togo.
Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam
ETIS is the world's foremost collection of ivory and other elephant product seizures containing nearly 20,000 records from some 90 countries or territories worldwide since 1989. It is managed by TRAFFIC on behalf of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), who met this March in Bangkok, Thailand.
"TRAFFIC congratulates Hong Kong Customs on their diligence in making this seizure and hopes that the countries involved conduct the necessary follow-up investigation needed to unmask the criminals behind this transaction," said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC's ivory expert.
Test will confirm origin of ivory
Probably from Central Africa
Series of huge seizures
"Anywhere along the trade chain the containers are offloaded offers the potential for intercepting these ivory shipments, a point which should not be lost by enforcement officers worldwide, who need to share information and co-operate to bring down the international networks behind the ivory smuggling racket," Milliken added.
In January 2010, Hong Kong Customs seized 186 ivory pieces that arrived from Malaysia having been shipped from Nigeria, while in October last year containers arriving in Hong Kong from Tanzania and Kenya between them contained 3.813 tonnes of carved and raw ivory.
These shipments are arriving on established trading routes and the shipping companies themselves have a moral responsibility to ensure they are not being unwittingly used by criminal networks to ferry their contraband worldwide.