By Kevin Heath
On the eve of the global March for Elephants officials in Hong Kong have announced another major ivory interception. It is the third major seizure in 3 months and this time the haul consists of 189 tusks worth US$1.5 million.
Customs officials discovered the 769 kilogrammes of tusk hidden in containers of soy beans. The shipment had been split across three different ships and had originated from the Cote d’Ivoire.
Vincent Wong, head of Ports and Maritime Command in Hong Kong said that the shipment had come via Malaysia and so far no arrests have been made. Officials are now tracking manifests and paperwork to discover the people behind the shipments. He said it was likely that the shipment was heading to the Chinese mainland.
The tusks were discovered after customs official officials sent the containers for X-ray after conducting risk assessments on the shipments.
Wong stated, “After X-ray examination, the officers found the ivory tusks, weighing 769kg (1,695 pounds) in total, in the innermost parts of the containers. The ivory tusks were packed in linen and nylon bags and covered by bags of soya,”
“Hong Kong…is committed to continuing to take vigorous enforcement action against the trafficking of endangered wildlife,” Wong, said in the press statement.