China seized over 50 ivory products after it enforced a ban on ivory trade.


Press Trust of India

Date Published

More than 50 illegal ivory products have been seized and two men arrested by China in the first such seizure after the country banned ivory trade this year. 

A thin man, who appeared to have a disproportionately large stomach, raised the suspicion of security staff at Shanghai Railway Station Tuesday night, leading to their arrest. The seized ivory products were bought in Zimbabwe and the two men were arrested as they were about to board a train.

Inspectors found a long cloth bag, wrapped around the man’s midriff, containing 10 ivory products and a further three strings of ivory products in his backpack, state-run Xinhua news agency reported. Meanwhile, police captured the man’s accomplice, who attempted to flee, finding more than 30 ivory products in his suitcase. The duo, from Taihe County, eastern China’s Anhui Province, flew to Shanghai from Zimbabwe where they worked, and planned to return to their hometown by train.

The thin man, surnamed Li, said he had made the cloth bag to hide the ivory products on his body, hoping to avoid police checks. Zoologists with the local wildlife conservation association said that the products were made from African elephant ivory. Last month China, the biggest market for ivory products, said it will gradually stop the processing and sales of ivories for commercial purposes from this year.

The decision came after China had imposed a three-year ban on ivory imports in March last year in an escalated fight against illegal trading of wild animals and plants.