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Customs officials detain Vietnamese passengers for smuggling tusks

Update: March, 16/2015 - 15:56
Tusks and tusk-made handicrafts seized by the Tan Son Nhat airport customs last June. Last Saturday, the same customs caught two Vietnamese persons smuggling a combined 43.5kg of tusk hidden in their baggage. — Photo courtesy of news.zing.vn

HCM CITY (VNS) — Two Vietnamese persons were caught smuggling elephant tusks by the Tan Son Nhat airport customs officials in HCM City last Saturday, the government website chinhphu.vn reported.

Nguyen Van Ha and Nguyen Van Hien, residents of Nam Dinh Province, had nothing to declare when they applied for customs clearance at the airport on their return from Dubai.

However, the customs officials reportedly found 19.2kg and 24.3kg of tusks in the baggage of Ha and Hien respectively.

The two persons allegedly could not produce any valid documents related to the cargo.

Tests conducted by the HCM City branch of the public security ministry's Institute of Criminal Science identified the tusks as being of African elephants, whose trade is banned by the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

The two alleged smugglers said they were hired to carry the goods from Dubai to Viet Nam.

The case is being investigated further. — VNS


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