Vietnam authorities seize elephant tusks sent from France

By Dinh Son, Thanh Nien News

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Three tusks from endangered African elephants seized by Ho Chi Minh City customs from a shipment from France February 12. Photo courtesy of news website VnEpxress Three tusks from endangered African elephants seized by Ho Chi Minh City customs from a shipment from France February 12. Photo courtesy of news website VnEpxress

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Three tusks weighing 4.2 kilograms seized from a shipment arriving in Ho Chi Minh City have been identified as being from vulnerable African elephants.
A statement Monday from the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology's Tropical Biology Institute said according to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, the tusks belong to an elephant species which can become endangered if the trade is not regulated.
Vietnam too allows only limited use of near-threatened species for commercial purposes.
The institute estimated the value of the seized ivory at VND2 billion (US$94,880) on the black market. Two of them are 45 centimeters long and 15 cm across, while the other is 33.5 cm long and 33 cm across.
HCMC customs authorities seized them from an aircraft last Wednesday when it arrived from France purportedly as a consignment of clothes.
It was meant for a consignee in Hanoi but came to Ho Chi Minh City by mistake.
Customs officials said they carried out a check upon suspicion.
The ivory trade has been illegal in Vietnam since the 1990s.

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