Nearly a tonne of ivory seized at Vietnam port


The Nation

Date Published
Hanoi (dpa) – Vietnam customs seized nearly a tonne of elephant tusks concealed inside a container from Africa, authorities said Tuesday.
The ivory was hidden under the packages of rubber gloves listed as cargo, according to Hai Phong City Customs Department.
The container was one of three addressed to an import-export company in Quang Ninh province, said Nguyen Si Trang, deputy director of the department.
The department will coordinate with wild animal protection organisation in Vietnam to define the origin of the ivory, he added.
Ivory is banned from import or export in Vietnam. The biggest seizure was in March 2009 when customs agents in Hai Phong found more than 6tons in a container shipped from Tanzania.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, most ivory smuggled into Vietnam is destined for China but some is sold locally for 770 to 1,200 dollars per kilogram.
International trade in ivory has been banned since 1989 with the exception of occasional auctions from stockpiles.