Tons of elephant tusks smuggled to northern port

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Customs officers in Vietnam on Wednesday found nearly two tons of elephant tusks in a container smuggled on a Hong Kong boat through the northern Hai Phong port. 

The boat departed Kenya and reached Doan Xa Port in Hai Phong on April 28.


The Thanh Long Export and Import Joint Stock Company in neighboring Quang Ninh Province imported the tusks. They were kept in a container which the company said contained 25 tons of dry seaweed.


The company intended to export the container to China after the check. It requested the officials to check the container on April 29 saying that the officials wouldn't be working on the national holidays of April 30 (Reunification Day) and May 1 (International Labor Day).


But the officials became suspicious and examined the container thoroughly on Tuesday, May 4. The tusks had been cut and kept in bags mixed with seaweed bags.


Last year, Hai Phong customs had discovered three cases in which more than five tons of elephant tusks, pangolin scales and turtle shells were being smuggled.


Recent seizures show the trafficking of elephant tusks and the scales of endangered pangolin is increasing.


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