HK$90,000 fine for female airport ivory smuggler

A woman is facing a fine after being convicted of ivory smuggling in Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Court this week.

The 37-year-old woman came to the attention of authorities at Hong Kong International Airport when she was arriving from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire via Dubai.

Customs officials seized 44 kilograms of worked ivory and cut pieces from two pieces of hand luggage.

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The woman was charged with the illegal import of endangered species.

It comes amid concerns that Hong Kong is a trading hub for smuggled ivory.

An Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department spokesman reminded the public to comply with the regulations and not to buy, import or export specimens or products of endangered species from dubious sources.

Elephants are listed in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and are regulated under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (Cap 586).

The import, export, re-export or possession of specimens of Appendix I species or their parts not in accordance with the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years. The specimens will also be forfeited upon conviction.

Photograph: Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region Government

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