Ho Chi Minh City customs officers have seized 14.6 kilograms of elephant tusks, reportedly belonging to a protected species, in a smuggled shipment from France.
The express shipment contained three pieces of elephant tusks, which were worth an estimated VND3 billion (US$141,500), according to a customs department statement on Wednesday.
The seizure was made on August 1. The tusks were meant for a consignee in Da Nang City, central Vietnam.
According to tropical biologists at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the tusks belong to the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), which is described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as “vulnerable” as its population is threatened by poaching and human encroachment of natural areas.
No one has been arrested. Investigation is going on.
Rising affluence in Asia has caused demand for ivory and many other wildlife products to soar in recent years, putting many animal and plant species under severe pressure.
In May, more than one ton of elephant tusks found in a shipment from Hong Kong was confiscated by customs officials in Quang Ninh Province.
HCMC officials last February seized 4.2 kilograms of tusks in a consignment that came from France.
Vietnam bans ivory trade from the 1990s.