|Customs officers examine the tusks recovered from hollow timber logs being transported from Africa to Cambodia. – Photo Tuoitre.vn|
HCM CITY – Three containers holding illegally trafficked elephant tusks hidden inside timber logs weighing a total of one tonne were discovered this morning at Cát Lái Port.
Yesterday, the Anti-Smuggling and Intellectual Property Rights Protection Unit (Unit 4), part of the Anti-Smuggling Investigation Department under the General Department of Customs, found half a tonne of ivory hidden in a container – part of a three-container shipment.
This morning, in collaboration with Cát Lái Port’s Customs, the unit inspected the rest of the shipment and found another 500kg of tusks.
The bill of lading declared the shipment was timber logs being transported from Africa to Cambodia, transiting via Việt Nam, which is the frequent route for international wildlife trafficking rings.
Since October, this is the sixth time Cát Lái Port’s customs officers have intercepted an illegal shipment of elephant tusks and pangolin scales hidden inside timber logs, with the total amount weighing nearly five tonnes.
Elephants are an endangered species and the international trade of tusks requires permission from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) – a global treaty to which Việt Nam is a signatory – formulated to protect endangered plants and animals. – VNS