2 tons of tusks seized

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

HONG KONG: More than 1 000 ivory tusks, mainly from baby ele­phants, were seized by Hong Kong cus­toms in their big­gest haul in three years.

The tusks, which weigh over two tons and are worth more than $ 2 mil­lion (R19.7m), were dis­cov­ered at the city’s main port in a cargo con­tainer from Togo.

It was headed for main­land China and the bags of tusks were hid­den be­neath planks of wood. “We pro­filed a con­tainer from Togo for ex­am­i­na­tion. First, we found ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties at an X- ray check. Then, we opened the con­tainer and dis­cov­ered the tusks of dif­fer­ent sizes,” Wong Wai-hung, a cus­toms com­man­der, said.

He added that the tusks were buried un­derneath planks of wood in the cor­ner of the 6m con­tainer, which had been de­clared as car­ry­ing wood only.

More than 1 148 tusks were seized. It was the big­gest ivory seizure in the city since 2010. Ng Kwok­le­ung, cus­toms group head of ports con­trol, said: “We saw very small tusks of baby ele­phants. We were sad be­cause they were killed for noth­ing.” – Sapa-AFP

PIC­TURES: REUTERS

SWEL­TER­ING: Two-year-old Amelia Scott plays on an ur­ban beach dur­ing hot weather in Not­ting­ham, cen­tral Eng­land. Bri­tain’s first pro­longed heat­wave in seven years has taken the coun­try by sur­prise, with rails buck­ling, shops sell­ing out of elec­tric fans, and sci­en­tists es­ti­mat­ing the surge in tem­per­a­ture could have caused hun­dreds of pre­ma­ture deaths.

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