3.2 tonnes of ivory seized in Cambodia
Mozambique: In a major breakthrough, the customs official of Cambodia have made a record-breaking ivory haul as they seized more than 3.2 tonnes of African ivory hidden in a storage container from Mozambique on Thursday.
Acting on the tip off from the US embassy, the customs official conducted a search at the Phnom Penh Autonomous Port and revered 1,026 tusks hidden in a storage container.
“The elephant tusks were hidden among marble in a container that was abandoned,” Sun Chhay, director of the Customs and Excise Office at the port, told the AFP news agency.
Sun Chhay said he did not know whether the shipment was intended for other countries.
It is not the first time that such a huge amount of ivories were seized. Customs officials seized about three tonnes of ivory hidden in a container of beans at the southwestern port of Sihanoukville in 2014.
In April of this year, 3.5 tonnes bound for Cambodia were seized at Maputo Port, Mozambique, reports the Phnom Penh Post.
In July 2017, authorities in Hong Kong said they had seized the world’s biggest ever haul of ivory tusks – some 7.2 tonnes.
It is said that the demand from China and Vietnam has meant Cambodia has become a major factor for the illegal wildlife trade.
The international trade in ivory was banned in 1990. However, according to the wildlife campaigners around 30,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year.