Vietnam seizes ton of African ivory en route to Cambodia

By VnExpress   November 29, 2016 | 02:15 am PT
Vietnam seizes ton of African ivory en route to Cambodia
Smuggled ivory wait to be burned in Hanoi in November. Photo by VnExpress
It is the third shipment seized at HCMC’s Cat Lai Port in November.

Customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City discovered nearly a ton of elephant tusks in three containers imported from Africa and headed for Cambodia early this week.

The shipment docked at Cat Lai Port and was described on the invoice as timber, but officials found the blocks had been hollowed out to hide the ivory.

It is the sixth ivory shipment stopped by customs officials at the port since last month. Between October 6 and November 24, customs officials at the port seized nearly five tons of ivory hidden in timber shipments from Africa.

On Monday, customs officials in the northern province of Quang Ninh also seized more than three kilograms of jewelry made from ivory and rhino horn from two motorbike travelers.

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 transit point for wildlife products destined for neighboring China.

During an international wildlife conference held in Hanoi in mid-November, 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.

On November 23, the Vietnamese government also ordered police to take stronger action to help end wildlife smuggling in the country. Deputy Prime Minister Truong Hoa Binh said the Ministry of Public Security needs to launch campaigns to wipe out smuggling rings and step up investigations into recent smuggling cases so the culprits can be brought to trial.

Related news:

Another 500 kilos of African ivory seized in Vietnam

Vietnam destroys huge ivory, rhino horn cache

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