Man arrested with smuggled ivory, agarwood from Bangkok

By Phan Anh   November 3, 2019 | 11:07 pm PT
Man arrested with smuggled ivory, agarwood from Bangkok
An elephant tusk and agarwood are seized from a man at Tan Son Nhat airport, HCMC, November 2, 2019. Photo courtesy of Vietnam News Agency.
A Vietnamese man was caught in Saigon Saturday with 1.8 kg of ivory and 22.5 kg agarwood that he'd brought from Bangkok.

Local reports said the 41-year-old man, whose name has not been revealed, was arrested after customs official checked his luggage at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport.

They found an entire elephant tusk and pieces of agarwood.

Authorities are investigating the incident further.

Several agarwood species are listed as potentially threatened by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and their international trade has to be authorized with an export permit.

Vietnam outlawed ivory trade in 1992.

Wildlife products, including ivory, pangolin scales and rhino horns, are prized in Vietnam for decorative purposes or their use in traditional medicine. Elephant ivory is coveted because it can be fashioned into exotic jewelry.

Vietnam still considers wildlife trafficking a low-risk crime as its direct victims are not humans, Nguyen Huong, communications manager of the Wildlife Conservation Society – Vietnam Program, said at a wildlife trafficking conference in Hanoi last month.

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