7.5 TONS OF ILLICIT CARGO DISCOVERED BY VIETNAMESE CUSTOMS
(Posted 14th June 2019)
Customs authorities in Hanoi on Wednesday this week seized 7.5 tons of elephant ivory and pangolin scales in one of Vietnam’s biggest wildlife trafficking cases in the recent past.
The 3.5 tons of ivory and 4 tons of pangolin scales were found this Wednesday in barrels when customs officers checked a shipping container arriving at northern Hai Phong port, the Vietnam News Agency reported.
The steel barrels containing the ivory and scales were mixed with ones containing tar to conceal the trafficked animal parts from customs authorities.
The illicit cargo was destined for a logistic company in Hai Phong city, but no one had claimed ownership of the shipment at the time of seizure or afterwards. No details were available on the country or countries of origin as yet.
Police have launched a criminal investigation on earlier today.
Poaching and trading of ivory tusks and pangolins carry penalties of up to 5 years in jail in Vietnam. However, the Southeast Asian country is also a common destination for trafficked wildlife parts and a transit point for ivory and other trafficked materials to China.
The pangolin is said to be the most widely trafficked mammal in the world. Its scales are made of keratin and are ground up to use in traditional medicines.