Sunday, 23 February 2020

Singapore seizes 8.8 tonnes elephant ivory, pangolin scales

[Handout/National Parks Board/AFP]
SINGAPORE: Singapore authorities have seized 8.8 tonnes (8,800kg) of elephant ivory, its largest ever seizure to date.

Authorities estimate that the tusks, valued at $12.9m (£10.4m), have come from nearly 300 African elephants. Some 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales valued at $35.7m were also seized.

It is believed to have belonged to about 2,000 of the mammals. The illegal cargo was found in containers after a tip-off from China’s customs department.

Authorities discovered the animal parts on Sunday after they inspected a shipment from the Democratic Republic of Congo that was passing through Singapore on its way to Vietnam.

The containers were falsely declared to contain timber.

“Upon inspection, sacks containing pangolin scales and elephant ivory were found in one of the containers,” the National Parks Board said in a statement. The seized pangolin scales and elephant ivory will be destroyed.

It is not the first time such illegal goods have been found in Singapore. The country has seized a total of 37.5 tonnes of pangolin scales since April this year.

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