A wildlife monitoring trade network believes that Malaysia was targeted as a transit hub for a shipment of illegal ivory recently seized at a Kenyan port.
Traffic regional director Dr Chris Shepherd said although Malaysia does not have a demand for ivory, the country has been increasingly used as a transit point for facilitating the movement of ivory to places where the elephant tusks are in demand, particularly China.
Last year, the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) listed Malaysia as part of a primary group of eight countries that were heavily affected by the illegal ivory trade.
The other seven were China, Kenya, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Vietnam.
“Since July 2006, there were just under 34 tonnes of ivory that were seized either en route to Malaysia or having left Malaysia.
“This does not include (shipments) that passed through Malaysia without being detected,” Dr Shepherd told The Star yesterday. More....