A monthly update on press coverage of the international illegal ivory trade.

This month’s seizures represent at least 385 dead elephants...

5th January - Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan
On arrival from Malawi, a Taiwan national is arrested in Taipei attempting to smuggle 59kg of ivory, comprising 21 tusks and semi-processed ivory into the country.   The passenger is reported to have business ties with Malawi, where the ivory was reportedly purchased.  Press report
5th January - Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Bangkok, Thailand
Crates in a Thai Airways warehouse are inspected by customs officials and found to contain 69 tusks and 4 pieces of ivory, totaling 435kg.  The shipment originated in Mozambique and although marked as destined for Laos, Thailand was believed to be its final destination, with the ivory being intended for re-importation once over the border.  Press report
7th January - Meru-Isiolo Highway, Kenya
Officials of Kenya Wildlife Service inspect a car on its way to Meru and find 81 tusks weighing 249kg as well as rhino horn, ammunition and night vision binoculars.  The tusks are believed to have come from elephants killed in wildlife corridors between National Parks stretching from Mount Kenya to Samburu.  The three occupants were arrested and thought to be members of a gang of poachers working in the area who have previously eluded capture.   Press report
9th January - Nr Kenya/Tanzania border, Kenya
Two Tanzanian nationals, believed to be members of a poaching gang operating near the Kenya/Tanzania border, are arrested while transporting 2 tusks weighing 42kg on a motorbike in Amboseli National Park.  Press report
10th January - Ranch near Tsavo National Park, Kenya
En route to Mombasa Port, 10 tusks from elephants poached at Tsavo East NP are intercepted at a ranch nearby and seized by officials of the Kenya Wildlife Service.  Press report
11th January – Hai Phong Port, Vietnam
On inspection of a shipping container from Tanzania, customs officials find 1,168kg of elephant tusks hidden among plastic material.  Press report
13th January – Pemba Port, Mozambique
Police intervene just in time as customs inspectors give the go ahead for a container ship loaded with 161 containers of illegal timber to depart from the port, en route to China.  The majority of the containers are owned by a Mozambican/Chinese company which also owns 29 other containers found on the dock – these are inspected and one is found to contain 126 tusks of elephant ivory, a rhino horn, elephant dung, some ivory ‘artefacts’ and pangolin scales.  Press reports
14th January – Mysore, Karnataka, India
Acting on a tip-off, police seize one piece of ivory and 4 tiger skins from an individual who is arrested while attempting to sell the wildlife products.   Press report
17th January - Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Nairobi, Kenya
A Chinese national is arrested while attempting to board a Kenya Airways flight to China.  The passenger, en route from Democratic Republic of Congo, is caught with 12 elephant tusks and 278 pieces of carved ivory, totaling 65kg.  Press report
18th January – Kekirawa, Sri Lanka
An individual is arrested by police while attempting to sell two elephant tusks  Press report
20th January – Mombasa, Kenya
In response to the rising tide of illegal wildlife smuggling and following on from the success of a similar team at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the Kenya Wildlife Service deploys 2 sniffer dogs to Mombasa for use in detecting illegal items in luggage going through Moi International Airport and the port at Mombasa.  Press report
23rd January – Maya-Maya International Airport, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo
A Chinese national is detained by customs officials following the discovery of 5 elephant tusks, 80 chopsticks, several Chinese signature seals, 3 carvings and other ivory items.  The detainee was attempting to board a flight to Beijing, China.  Press report
News items referred to here are from external sources and Bloody Ivory cannot be held responsible for their authenticity or for the ongoing functionality of the links provided.


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