Tons of smuggled ivory seized at Vietnam port

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Customs officers in the northern port city of Hai Phong said Wednesday they had confiscated more than two tons of elephant tusks allegedly smuggled from Tanzania to Vietnam by sea, online newspaper Dan Tri reported.


The tusks were hid in a container labeled as containing 20 tons of Malaysian sea snail shells, and declared as products being temporarily imported into Vietnam before being exported to China.


The consignment was loaded aboard the ship Vinashin Marier on August 19, and the consignee - Hai Phong Trade, Services and Export-Import Limited Company  - turned up to undertake customs procedures in Hai Phong Port on October 3.


When customs officers at the port scanned the container, they found large bundles of cut tusks hidden in the sacks containing snail shells.


They said a total 1,167 pieces of tusks weighing 2.1 tons, 146.5 kilograms of hawksbill sea turtle scales and around 2.4 tons of dried mollusks were seized from the consignment.


Ivory and hawksbill sea turtle's scale are banned products under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


The case is being investigated further.

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