Thursday, 23 April 2015

Thailand's biggest ever ivory bust

Thai customs officials have seized four tons of ivory worth $6 million, authorities said on Monday, in what the department called the largest bust of its kind in Thailand’s history.

The elephant tusks were hidden in bags containing dried beans in containers originating from
the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Thai Customs Department said in a statement, and were
bound for Laos.

Thailand was given until the end of March to take measures to shut down domestic trade in ivory
or face sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species
(CITES).

“We consider this the biggest seizure in Thai history. We believe that this ivory was due to be
sold to customers in China, Vietnam and Thailand,” the Thai Customs Department said in a statement.

Much of the ivory smuggled into Thailand from other countries is turned into ornaments that are
shipped to China and Vietnam to meet burgeoning demand.

In January, Thailand passed new legislation to regulate and control the possession and trade of
ivory. Under the law, possession of African ivory for sale in Thailand is prohibited.

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