Another 500 kilos of African ivory seized in Vietnam

By VnExpress   November 25, 2016 | 12:08 am PT
Another 500 kilos of African ivory seized in Vietnam
Elephant tusks seized in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday. Photo by HCMC Customs
This is the fifth shipment stopped by customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City since October 6.

Customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City discovered around 500 kilograms of ivory hidden in wooden blocks in two containers imported from Africa on Thursday night.

The containers arrived at Cat Lai Port on November 18 with inventories stating they were carrying wood.

Customs officials suspected illegal goods had been transported in the containers and summoned the recipient, a logistics company registered in District 2, to the port. However, after the company failed to send a representative, officials went ahead and searched the containers.

The ivory shipment is the fifth to have been stopped at the port since last month. Between October 6 and November 1, customs officials at the port seized more than four tons of ivory concealed in timber shipments from Africa.

The trade of ivory, pangolins and rhino horn is officially banned in Vietnam, but their use in traditional medicine and for decoration remains widespread, making the country a major market and also a popular transit point for wildlife products destined for neighboring China.

During an international wildlife conference held in Hanoi last week, global activists called for tougher action from Vietnam’s government to help stop the trafficking and save many endangered species from the verge of extinction.

The Vietnamese government, on November 23, ordered police to take stronger action and help end wildlife smuggling into the country. Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said the Ministry of Public Security needs to launch campaigns to wipe out criminal smuggling rings, step up investigation of recent smuggling cases and soon bring them to trial.

Related news:

Vietnam destroys huge ivory, rhino horn cache

Vietnam seizes half a ton of smuggled African ivory

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