The tusks were placed in three bags and hidden in a container filled with timber imported from Uganda.
Xiamen Customs yesterday announced the seizure of 57 ivory tusks smuggled from Africa. The tusks were declared as timber and hidden in a container filled with timber imported from Uganda.
The tusks, weighing 119 kilograms, are worth nearly 8.2 million yuan. Customs said it was the biggest seizure of smuggled elephant tusks in China this year.
A suspect surnamed Huang said he purchased the elephant tusks in Uganda this June at a price of US$300 per kilo. He was attempting to smuggle them to southern Guangdong Province for processing and sale. Huang was detained by police.
This September, on a state visit to Washington, Chinese President Xi Jinping promised to stop the commercial trade in ivory in China. The two countries also signed up to a major agreement to end the global trade in ivory.
Cutting the supply of ivory to the Chinese market is seen as an crucial step in reducing the loss of Africa’s elephants to poaching.
Support for a ban on the ivory trade is high in China according to a March 2015 survey conducted by WildAid, African Wildlife Foundation and Save The Elephants.
95% of respondents surveyed in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou said that the government should impose an ivory sales ban. The survey also found that awareness of ivory poaching had increased by 50% since 2012.