Mammoth ivory among large shipment seized in south China


Asa Butcher, The GB Times

Date Published

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Several hundred mammoth and elephant ivory products being smuggled into a south China port were seized by port officials in the Chinese province of Guangdong yesterday.

During an inspection, 740 ivory products weighing a total of 28 kilogrammes were discovered by Huangpu Customs officers. Two suspects were also arrested, reported China News Agency.   

The shipment is the first to be seized by Huangpu Customs since China banned all ivory trade at the end of 2017. It consisted of 15 kg of illegal African ivory products and 13 kg of undeclared items made from mammoth ivory.

Trade in ivory from the tusks and teeth of mammoths, which became extinct more than 10,000 years ago, is legal and has been growing due to international trade restrictions on elephant ivory.

It is estimated that over half of ivory sold into China is mammoth ivory.

Earlier this month, a 13-year-old Vietnamese schoolgirl was caught by Chinese customs officers at Dongxing port on the southwest coast of China as she attempted to smuggle 49 ivory products strapped to her body.