Hong Kong Customs seizes suspected ivory cut pieces at airport (with photos)

7 Sep 2015

Hong Kong Customs detected a suspected case of ivory smuggling at Hong Kong International Airport yesterday (September 6). A total of 51 kilograms of suspected ivory cut pieces, worth about $510,000, were seized from two inbound airmail parcels.

Upon Customs clearance, Customs officers screened some inbound airmail parcels declared as "Decorative Tiles" which had originated in Zimbabwe and arrived in Hong Kong via Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Suspicious images were found upon X-ray inspection. Customs officers opened the parcels and found the suspected ivory cut pieces covered with sawdust.

The case was handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) for follow-up.

This is the second case within a week that suspected ivory smuggling with the same modus operandi from Zimbabwe was detected at Hong Kong International Airport. The other case was detected on September 2.

A Customs spokesman said, Hong Kong Customs would continue to work with the AFCD as well as Hongkong Post to combat the smuggling of endangered species by post.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year.

Ends/Monday, September 7, 2015

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