Elephant tusks worth more than $1m were seized by Hong Kong customs after being discovered hidden under bags of soya in shipments from West Africa, officials said on Thursday.
In what officials called an "intelligence-based" operation last month, the southern Chinese city's border control found 189 tusks in three containers.
"After X-ray examination, the officers found the ivory tusks, weighing 769kg 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," a Hong Kong government spokesperson said in a statement.
The three 6m containers arrived at the city's maritime port from Cote d'Ivoire in separate shipments, according to customs officials, who did not specify when the shipments arrived.
They said the tusks could be sold for HK$11.53m ($1.49m).
The seizure came less than two months after the last major haul of 1 000 elephant tusks found in a container from Nigeria, which along with rhino horns and leopard skins also discovered was worth more than $5m.
Ivory is popular with Chinese collectors who see it as a valuable investment and leopard skin is a popular material for fashion and decoration. More....