Customs officers in Da Nang seized approximately 9.1 metric tons of ivory tusks on Tuesday, marking the largest seizure of illegally transported ivory in Vietnam in many years.
The tusks were cleverly stashed amongst wooden planks in a shipping container that was en route to the central metropolis’ Tien Sa seaport from ‘Congo’.
Authorities failed to clarify whether ‘Congo’ referred to the larger Democratic Republic of the Congo or the smaller Republic of the Congo.
|Customs officials examine tusks taken from a ship container in Da Nang, central Vietnam, March 26, 2019. Photo: H.Q. / Tuoi Tre|
A company headquartered in neighboring Quang Nam Province was identified as the recipient of the items, Vietnamese newspaper Thanh Nien (Young People) reported.
Customs officials were still attempting to obtain more information about the tusks as of Thursday.
Vietnam has officially banned the ivory trade since 1992 to discourage the hunting of the country's dwindling elephant population, an animal poachers value highly for its tusks.
|Customs officials weigh tusks taken from a ship container in Da Nang, central Vietnam, March 26, 2019. Photo: H.Q. / Tuoi Tre|