Viet­nam seizes smug­gled ivory hid­den with wax, wood nails

Kuwait Times - - HEALTH -

HANOI:

Viet­namese au­thor­i­ties have seized 619 kilo­grams (1,362 pounds) of ivory smug­gled from Africa af­ter find­ing 4 tons at the same port over the past two months, state me­dia and an of­fi­cial said yes­ter­day.

The ivory seized Thurs­day had been hid­den in two con­tain­ers ar­riv­ing at Cat Lai port in south­ern com­mer­cial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the Cus­toms news­pa­per said.

Le Dinh Loi, the city’s deputy cus­toms chief con­firmed the report, but did not give more de­tails yes­ter­day. The smug­glers used more so­phis­ti­cated tac­tics than pre­vi­ous ship­ments by pack­ing wax around the ivory when it was sealed in­side emp­tied-out tim­ber and us­ing wood nails to evade X-ray checks, ac­cord­ing to the news­pa­per, pub­lished by the Gen­eral Depart­ment of Cus­toms. The seizure came just a week af­ter lead­ers and se­nior of­fi­cials from more than 40 coun­tries met at an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence on il­le­gal wildlife trade in Hanoi, which was at­tended by Bri­tain’s Prince William.

The con­fer­ence called for stepped-up ef­forts to com­bat il­le­gal wildlife trade. At the con­fer­ence, Prince William, who is pres­i­dent of United for Wildlife, praised Viet­nam, China and other Asian coun­tries for tak­ing steps to bat­tle wildlife traf­fick­ing, but said rhi­nos, ele­phants, pan­golins and tigers are still be­ing killed in hor­ri­fy­ing num­bers.

He said the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity is not mov­ing fast enough to keep up with the cri­sis. Viet­nam is one of the world’s ma­jor tran­sit points and con­sumers of ivory and rhino horn. Ele­phant ivory is used as jewelry and home dec­o­ra­tions in Viet­nam, which bans hunt­ing of its own dwin­dling pop­u­la­tion of ele­phants. — AP

HO CHI MINH CITY: Viet­namese of­fi­cials check seized ivory, which was packed with wax around when it is sealed in­side emp­tied-out tim­ber in Ho Chi Minh City, Viet­nam. — AP

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