Hanoi, Viet Nam, 9 March 2009—Customs officers in Viet Nam’s northern port of Hai Phong have seized a huge consignment of more than 6 tonnes of elephant ivory, according to government sources. Vietnamese officials have described the seizure as “the biggest ivory haul ever in Vietnam.”
The ivory was apparently smuggled from Dar Es Salaam in Tanzania to Malaysia, before arriving in Hai Phong aboard a Malaysian-flagged vessel. The illicit cargo was found hidden in boxes of plastic waste declared to be for recycling.
Last month, a TRAFFIC report revealed record prices for illegal ivory in Viet Nam, but it is not yet clear whether the tusks seized were to be sold in Viet Nam or were being smuggled in for onward movement.
TRAFFIC aims to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature
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