|The smuggled ivory, hidden among timber in two containers, was on its way to Cambodia via Việt Nam. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HCM CITY – Customs officials on Wednesday seized a tonne of ivory smuggled from Mumbasa Port, Kenya, worth VNĐ40 billion (US$1.8 million), at Cát Lái Port in HCM City.
The ivory, hidden among timber in two containers, was on its way to Cambodia via Việt Nam. A Cambodian-based company is responsible for transporting the smuggled goods, authorities said.
After hiding more than 978kg of ivory in 18 pieces of squarish-shaped timber, 0.3-0.4m wide and 2m long, the smugglers glued the timber and covered it with dirt so that customs officials would not notice the ivory.
Before destroying the smuggled goods, relevant authorities will conduct further investigation into the case.
Customs officer Vũ Việt Tiến told Thanh Niên (Young People) newspaper that the authorities had seized another three shipments, including 3.5 tonnes of ivory illegally imported from Africa in October at the same port.
“This is the largest amount of ivory that has been illegally transported to HCM City, so far,” he said. – VNS