Thailand Seizes Two Tonnes of Ivory

Breaking news 25/02/10…Thai customs officials have seized two tonnes of elephant tusks hidden in pallets in Bangkok yesterday. Further evidence as CITES* approaches that the prospect of additional legal trade in ivory is fuelling an increase in illegal trafficking.

The consignment of 239 tusks originated in South Africa and was labeled as ‘mobile phone parts’ destined for Loas. Officials, acting on a tip off, arrested a Thai national when he attempted to pick up the cargo at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Customs official Seree Thaijongrak confirmed that this was “the biggest seizure we have ever had” and that the smuggling of ivory from Africa was on the rise in Thailand, as it is in much of South East Asia. He said the seizure illustrates that the country is becoming a key transit point for shipments from Africa to supply a growing demand for ivory goods in China, Europe and the United States.

Have your say! Please sign our petition calling on the Parties to CITES to reject any proposals for further trade in ivory (as has been requested by Tanzania and Zambia) and reject any measures that would reduce international protection for the species.

Full story at the Associated Press.>

*Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna

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