Wildlife Extra

More than 2 tonnes of ivory seized in Hong Kong

world/Asia/2013/Hong-Kong-ivory-July-2013The ivory tusks were packed in 30 sacks and covered by wooden boards in the innermost part of the container. © Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department

Seizure of 1,148 ivory tusks underscores Hong Kong’s transit role in illicit trade
July 2013-Hong Kong Customs have seized 1,148 ivory tusks weighing 2.183 tonnes. The tusks were declared as timber and concealed in a 20 foot (6 m) container that arrived on a vessel from the West African country of Togo.
Repeated large scale seizures
It was the ninth large-scale ivory seizure made in Hong Kong since 2010, with a combined weight of just over 14 tonnes. CITES has defined large-scale seizures as 500 kg or more, and typically are indicative of organized criminal activity.

Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam
Hong Kong, together with Malaysia, the Philippines and Viet Nam, were identified through analysis of the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS) database as the main transit points for ivory arriving in Asia from Africa before onward distribution to the major markets in Thailand and China. Collectively, they have made or been implicated in 21 (62%) of the 34 large-scale ivory seizures made between 2009 and 2011, totalling 41.1 tonnes of ivory.

ETIS is the world’s foremost collection of ivory and other elephant product seizures containing nearly 20,000 records from some 90 countries or territories worldwide since 1989. It is managed by TRAFFIC on behalf of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), who met this March in Bangkok, Thailand.

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