Hong Kong customs officers guard 45 bags of unprocessed ivory, which had been concealed in more than 400 bags of sunflower seeds. They discovered the ivory, taken from over 200 poached elephants, on 15 November 2012. The seizure comes just two weeks after customs officers in Hong Kong discovered almost 4 tons of ivory representing 600 poached elephants. Bobby Yip / Reuters

HONG KONG, 16 November 2012 (AP) – Hong Kong customs officers have made their second major seizure of ivory in less than a month after confiscating more than a tonne of the elephant tusks worth $1.4m (£880,000).

Officers discovered 569 pieces of ivory on Thursday, weighing 1,330kg (2,930 lbs), in a container shipped to a Hong Kong port.

A search of a container from Tanzania yielded 45 bags of unprocessed tusks concealed in more than 400 bags of sunflower seeds, said Vincent Wong, a customs divisional commander.

The smugglers used an indirect route, shipping the ivory through Dubai and transferring it from one ship to another.

While the container's destination was listed as Hong Kong, officials believe the shipment was intended for another location but did not say where.

Vincent Wong, center, group head of Port Control from Hong Kong Customs, speaks with ivory tusks confiscated during a news conference in Hong Kong on Friday. Hong Kong customs officers have made their second big seizure of illegal ivory in less than a month after confiscating more than a ton of the elephant tusks worth $1.4 million, officials said Friday. Officers discovered 569 pieces of ivory tusks weighing 1,330 kilograms (2,930 pounds) on 15 November 2012. Kin Cheung / AP

The discovery comes weeks after customs officers in Hong Kong made a record seizure of endangered species products, confiscating nearly 4 tonnes of African ivory worth $3.4m [representing more than 600 poached elephants], which had been found in two containers.

Smugglers used plastic and beans to conceal the ivory. Wong said the smuggling incidents did not appear to be related.

Wildlife activists blame China's growing presence in Africa for an unprecedented surge in elephant poaching, with most of the tusks believed to be smuggled to China and Thailand to make ornaments.

Authorities are investigating the latest ivory haul. No arrests have been made.

Hong Kong seizes $1.4m of illegal ivory


  1. Anonymous said...

    Glad to see you back Des.

    Couple of related links on the elephant slaughter: A Family Falls.

    And more here: Big Life Foundation (many pictures / videos worth watching.

    It's examples like this that tell me that humans won't stop their destruction. Economics (which ultimately boils down to the need to eat) is forcing predatory practices all over the globe, whether it is cutting down a tree or cutting off a shark fin or being employed at an Apple Chinese slave labor factory spewing out poisons into the air.

    I think we're hopeless as a species, or at least as a modern culture, which is what I really blame.

    We can't seem to stop ourselves, even it means we wipe out the last of virtually everything while clinging to the illusion "we're making a better life for ourselves" while destroying everything else. This cannot possibly be true.

    There are too many people who have no other choice, having been robbed of their ability to take care of themselves, forced into cities and towns, their lands and resources stolen away from them. They then become the unwilling participants of helping the ongoing destruction and devastation occurring around the world by taking bit parts in "processing" the world's resources to exhaustion.

    This is "civilization" -- the destruction of everything, and the pretension that it's all "necessary" for human survival. An incredible lie, foisted upon all the world. ~Survival Acres~  


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