02/26/2010, 00.00
Send to a friend

Record ivory seizure in Bangkok, destined for China

Some 239 tusks worth US$ 3.6 million were seized. The African ivory was destined for Laos, but authorities believe it was meant for China’s black market. China is a major world market for ivory.
Bangkok (AsiaNews/Agencies) – In a press release, Thailand’s Customs Department said it seized two tonnes of ivory at Bangkok International Airport. Valued at US$ 3.6 million, the seizure is the country's largest-ever quantity of ivory.

The shipment flown on an Emirates flight was declared at Thai customs as mobile phone parts to take advantage of Thailand's agreement with Laos not to check cargo in transit. Thailand is a transit point for ivory forwarded to other markets such as China.

"Normally, this would have gone right through but we got the tip-off,” said Seree Thaijongrak, director of the investigation and suppression bureau for Thai customs.

Customs officials searched a transit cargo warehouse at the airport on Wednesday evening and found a consignment of 239 elephant tusks from South Africa

About 38,000 African elephants are killed each year for their tusks out of a total estimated population of half a million.

Since 1898, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) has banned the international ivory trade.  It does however allow for domestic sales.

Thailand, which is home to the Asian elephant, has its own ivory for use by local craftspeople. However, the latter is indistinguishable from African ivory. This has made Thailand a transit point for ivory forwarded to other markets such as China or South-East Asia.

China remains one of the largest importers of ivory. In 2008, the United Nations allowed China to trade with Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and e Zimbabwe in order to counter the illegal ivory trade.

Send to a friend
Printable version
See also
Animal rights activists on war footing against ivory market in China
Tensions between Seoul and Pyongyang rise as Cold War fears cast a shadow over Korea
12/02/2016 15:14
Wen Jiabao'as Africa tour continues in Ghana
Fr Rupak Lokhande, from Mumbai to the Ivory Coast mission
02/08/2019 16:57
Chinese thrown out of Sierra Leone for destroying local forests


Subscribe to Asia News updates or change your preferences

Subscribe now
“L’Asia: ecco il nostro comune compito per il terzo millennio!” - Giovanni Paolo II, da “Alzatevi, andiamo”