Vietnam seizes 7 tons of ivory tusks in latest wildlife trafficking case

The shipment from Angola was declared to be carrying peanuts.
By RFA Vietnamese
2023.03.20
Vietnam seizes 7 tons of ivory tusks in latest wildlife trafficking case Custom officers unload illegally transported ivory at the Nam Hai Dinh Vu Port in Haiphong, Vietnam, March 20, 2023.
Image grab from Tuoi Tre video

Vietnamese customs authorities on Monday confiscated seven tons of ivory illegally shipped from Angola in what is believed to be the largest seizure of wildlife products in Vietnam in years, state media reported.

The seizure took place after customs officers and local police found the elephant tusks in a 20-foot shipping container shipped en route to Vietnam via Singapore at Nam Hai Dinh Vu Port in Haiphong, a city in northeastern Vietnam, according to a report in state-run Bao Chinh Phu newspaper.  

The containers were declared to be carrying peanuts.

Vietnam is a member of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, or CITES, which bans international trade in ivory. 

Nevertheless, wildlife trafficking remains rampant with the smuggling of ivory, pangolin scales, rhino horns and tiger parts, used for charms, decorations and traditional medicine throughout the region and in China. 

Most of the ivory illegally smuggled into Southeast Asia ends up in the hands of Chinese customers due to lax enforcement, though Beijing banned the sale of elephant ivory at the end of 2017.

Authorities at the same port seized 7.5 tons of elephant ivory and pangolin scales hidden in steel barrels in a shipping container in June 2019, according to Vietnamese media. The shipment was headed to a logistics company in Haiphong, but no one claimed it. 

Translated by An Nguyen for RFA Vietnamese. Edited by Roseanne Gerin and Malcolm Foster.

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