Hong Kong customs officers seized 7.2 tons of tusks, making it the Hong Kong’s biggest ivory bust in 30 years. Photo Credit: South China Morning Post
Hong Kong Customs seized about 7.2 tons of ivory tusks from a container from Malaysia with an estimated street value of HK$72 million (US$9M). This is the biggest ivory bust in 30 years.
The 40-foot container declared to contain frozen fish arriving from Malaysia was inspected through customs risk assessment by the Customs officers who found the ivory tusks underneath of frozen fish cartons. Upon follow-up investigations, a proprietor and two staff members of a trading company in Tuen Mun were arrested. It was the first time customs had seen this method.
According to the head of the special investigation group, Simon Wan Hing-Chuen, it is believed there is a significant smuggling syndicate involved, given the large quantities of contraband. Investigations are ongoing.
Hong Kong, a major transit hub for illegal wildlife products, is preparing to ban local ivory sales by 2021.
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