19 July 2013
Hong Kong seizes ivory smuggled from Togo
Hong Kong customs officials announced the seizure of smuggled ivory worth $ 2.25 million on a Togolese container. The shipment contained 1,148 elephant tusks and is one of the largest seizures ever made in Hong Kong.
The seizure is the fifth ivory seizure in Hong Kong since last October, all originating in Africa where conservationists say elephant populations are in crisis. According to the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, the increasing large-scale shipments indicate the involvement of criminal organizations that smuggle ivory through South-East Asian states to major markets such as China. In Asia, growing affluence has resulted in soaring demand for wildlife products, while enforcement and penalties often remain weak, wildlife experts say.