Vietnam seizes elephant tusks, pangolin scales in large shipment from Malaysia

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Bags of elephant tusks and pangolin scales seized on August 25, 2015 from a shipment from Malaysia to Da Nang. Photo credit: VietNamNet Bags of elephant tusks and pangolin scales seized on August 25, 2015 from a shipment from Malaysia to Da Nang. Photo credit: VietNamNet

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Customs officers in Da Nang on Tuesday seized a huge shipment of elephant tusks and pangolin scales smuggled from Malaysia, which was the third ivory bust in the central city in two weeks.
Local media reported that the officers found the tusks and scales and the endangered animals hidden among sacks of beans in a shipment of nearly 20 metric tons.
They have not finished weighing the animal parts. 
The shipment arrived on August 13.
Da Nang customs officers last Friday seized nearly 2.3 tons of elephant tusks from Nigeria, just a week after they found nearly 750 kilograms of elephant tusks and rhino horns smuggled from Mozambique.
Local companies are listed in the invoice as the receivers but no legal actions have been taken yet. 
Vietnam has banned ivory trade since the 1990s, and yet it has been fueled by the rising affluence in recent years and the demand for using ivories for decoration.
Vietnam is one of the biggest markets for wildlife as many people believe rare animal parts can cure diseases, despite a lack of scientific evidence. 
Wildlife protection organizations in the country have been asking celebrities and doctors to campaign against the belief.
Pangolin scales are used to make boots and shoes and are also used as indigenous ornaments and in traditional medicine.
Vietnam bans the trade of pangolins and any products made from the animal.

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