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HCMC seizes ivory artifacts trafficked from France

Monday, July 01, 2013, 12:54 GMT+7

Customs officers at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport yesterday reported that they had detected 20 artifacts made of elephant tusks hidden in the luggage of a Vietnamese man who arrived from France.

>> Wanted gambler seized for smuggling elephant tusks  >> Men held for smuggling 158 tusks worth $5 mil These items, which weigh 21 kg in total, were found in the suitcase of N.P.K, who arrived at the airport on Sunday, customs officers said.  This is a commodity banned from being imported into Vietnam, according to Decision 11/2013 dated January 24, 2013 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.  These artifacts originated in Africa, and they got through France’s control to arrive in Vietnam, customs officers said.  Customs officers and other concerned agencies are handling the case according to applicable regulations. A similar case happened late last year, when Nguyen The Dan, a 42-year-old man, was seized for smuggling five sections of tusks weighing about 61.6 kgfrom Singapore to Vietnam. He was caught hiding the ivory his luggage when he arrived at Da Nang Airport on December 3, 2012.

During the ensuing investigation, police discovered that Dan was on a wanted list by Thanh Hoa’s Tho Xuan District police for fleeing after being given a suspended sentence for gambling.

Another similar case was also discovered last year, when customs officers at Tan Son Nhat seized 30 cut pieces of elephant tusks from the luggage of two Vietnamese passengers arriving from Thailand on July 18, 2012.

The two passengers failed to show any documents related to the tusks, which weighed 137 kilograms in total and were valued at US$218,000.

They told customs officers they had received the tusks in Thailand to deliver to a man in HCMC.

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