Ivory worth $510,000 seized at Hong Kong airport

Hong Kong Customs officials have detected two suspected cases of ivory smuggling in the past week at Hong Kong International Airport.

Authorities seized 51 kilograms of suspected ivory cut pieces, worth about $510,000, from two inbound airmail parcels on Sunday.

Hong Kong Customs officials The parcels screened the inbound airmail parcels declared as "Decorative Tiles" which had originated in Zimbabwe and arrived in Hong Kong via Amsterdam.

Suspicious images were found upon X-ray inspection. Customs officers opened the parcels and found the suspected ivory cut pieces covered with sawdust.

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The case was handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) for follow-up.

A separate suspected ivory smuggling case with the same modus operandi from Zimbabwe was detected at Hong Kong International Airport on September 2.

A Customs spokesman said Hong Kong Customs would continue to work with the AFCD as well as Hongkong Post to combat the smuggling of endangered species by post.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $100,000 and imprisonment for one year.

Photo courtesy Hong Kong SAR Government. 8/9/2015

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