Ivory Smuggling Destination Thailand Makes “Biggest Seizure” of Tusks
On Monday authorities in Thailand revealed that they have seized4 tonnes of ivory estimated to be worth $6 million. According to the department, this was the largest burst that they have ever made in Thailand’s history.
The elephant tusks were hidden in bags containing beans and it had originated from the Africa’s Democratic Republic of Congo, a statement that was issued by Thai Customs Department revealed. The statement went on further to state that the tusks were on their way to Laos.
This recent seizure comes as Thailand, a top destination when it comes to smuggling ivory in Asia, has been criticized in the past for not doing enough when it comes to dealing with the issue of African ivory smuggling.
The International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) had given Thailand a deadline of 31st March to make sure that they have initiated measures which are intended on shutting down the domestic trade of ivory or face sanctions.
Any sanctions that would be handed out to Thailand could impact the country’s trade in species which have been covered by the convention, these also includes ornamental plants such as orchids.
The Thai Customs Department said in a statement that, “We consider this the biggest seizure in Thai history. We believe that this ivory was due to be sold to customers in China, Vietnam and Thailand.”
According to Thailand’s Director-General of Customs Department, Somchai Sujiapongse, the ivory was discovered on 18th April after police were tipped of about a huge shipment that was entering the company.