The Strategist

Vietnamese Customs Confiscated a Ton of Elephant Tusks

08/28/2015 - 15:54

Vietnamese customs officers confiscated a container in the port of Danang, in which there were a ton of elephant tusks and more than four tons of pangolin skins - a rare animal that resembles an armadillo, said Friday the newspaper "Khom Chad Luek".

Steve Snodgrass
Steve Snodgrass
The cargo was registered as "canned beans in banks" and travelled from Malaysia to a private trading company in Vietnam.

A week earlier in Danang, customs officers stopped and confiscated a container with two tons of elephant tusks, which went to the same company, and eight days earlier - a container with elephant tusks and rhino horns weighing one ton, said the publication.

Possession of objects made of ivory, rhino horn and skin pangolin - endangered species of "armored" anteater, once widespread in Southeast Asia and South Africa - is a symbol of prestige in the high society of a number of Asian countries, including China, Korea and Vietnam. Pangolin are caught for meat and scales, which is credited with medicinal properties. In recent years, countries in the region were actively involved in the fight against the destruction of smuggling rare animals, their bones and skins.

Earlier this week in Thailand, a ceremony of destruction of two tonnes of ivory seized over seven years by Thai customs officials was held in a warehouse of the Customs Department. Customs Department gave five hundred kilograms of ivory from the same batch to schools and universities of the country as teaching aids.