Hong Kong Customs yesterday (November 15) afternoon seized a total of 569 ivory tusks from a 20-foot container shipped to Hong Kong. The seizure was worth about $10.65 million.
Using risk assessment, Customs officers selected a container declared to contain "sun flower seeds" from a vessel arriving from Tanzania, Africa, for inspection.
Under X-ray examination the officers found the ivory tusks weighing 1 330 kilograms in the rear of the container. Covered by 478 bags of sun flower seeds, the ivory tusks were packed in 45 nylon bags and wrapped in plastic sheets.
The Customs' investigation is still going on to locate the smuggling syndicate members.
The Group Head of Ports and Maritime Command, Mr Wong Sui-hang, said today (November 16) at a press conference that Hong Kong Customs would continue to co-operate with the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department and other law enforcement agencies to enforce the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance and deter the trafficking of endangered species.
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
In addition, under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading endangered species for commercial purposes is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.