|Customs officers hold smuggled elephant tusks in Hải Phòng City. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HẢI PHÒNG — Customs authorities in Hải Phòng have uncovered what is being called the largest case of elephant tusk smuggling in the city's history.
On Monday morning, seven tonnes of tusks, all originating from Angola, were found in three containers that had entered Hải Phòng City through the Nam Hải Đình Vũ Port. The containers had been falsely declared as containing peanuts and were illegally imported from Africa.
Authorities were impressed with the sophistication of the smugglers who had provided false information to avoid detection. The goods were described in uncommon language, and incorrect information about the receivers was provided. The shipping route had also been concealed by transiting through Singapore.
The tusks that were seized are on the list of goods banned from import in Government's Decree No. 69/2018/NĐ-CP, which was issued on May 15, 2018. Additionally, the African elephant's tusks are listed in appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Officials have begun an investigation into the case, and more inspections are underway.
This seizure comes on the heels of two other similar discoveries by Hải Phòng Customs. On February 3, nearly 500kg of smuggled elephant tusks were found mixed with ox horns at Lạch Huyện Port. Three days later, on February 6, the municipal customs uncovered nearly 130kg of elephant tusks illegally imported from Africa at the same port. — VNS