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Over 300kg of alleged elephant tusks seized at Vietnam airport

Over 300kg of alleged elephant tusks seized at Vietnam airport

Sunday, October 02, 2016, 10:59 GMT+7

Customs officers at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi have seized more than 300 kilograms of tusks, allegedly belonging to elephants, shipped from Lagos Airport in Nigeria on Thursday.

The tusks, detected on Saturday, were transported on an aircraft of the United Arab Emirates-based Etihad Airways.

The batch, weighing about 310kg, was claimed to be hydraulic toughened glass and had its documents created by Gia Huy Company, located in Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, customs officers told VietNamNet.

Currently, customs officers are investigating the case.

The trade of tusks is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as well as Vietnamese laws, as African ivory is listed in the World’s Red Book, customs officers said.

Many similar tusk smuggling cases have occurred in recent years in Vietnam, which has banned trade in ivory since 1992 to prevent the hunting of the country's dwindling population of elephants, which poachers value highly for their tusks.

The biggest interception of elephant tusks in Vietnam occurred in March 2009, when customs officers in the northern city of Hai Phong seized nearly seven tons of the contraband goods in a container shipped from Tanzania, a country in East Africa.

The international trade in elephant tusks has been prohibited since 1989 after the population of the African giants sharply decreased to some 600,000 by the end of the 1980s from millions in the mid-20th century, AFP reported.

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