SINGAPORE authorities seized S$2mil (RM5.2mil) worth of illegal ivory last week – the third largest haul of its kind since 2002.
Acting on a tip-off, officers from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and the Singapore Customs intercepted and detained the shipment, which was passing through Singapore on transit from Africa in a 20-foot container.
The shipment – bound for another Asian country – was declared as coffee berries, but officers detected irregularities when the container was scanned at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station on March 25.
The container was found to contain 106 pieces of ivory, weighing about one tonne in total. They were packed into 15 wooden crates.
AVA is investigating the case.
Elephants are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) which has, since 1989, prohibited international trade in elephant ivory.
Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act here, a permit is required for the import and export of elephant parts or products – including ivory.
In a statement, AVA said it will continue to work with Singapore customs, as well as other national and international enforcement agencies, to curb wildlife trafficking.
All companies should be cautious when accepting jobs from customers, and take care to avoid being implicated in the smuggling of illegal wildlife, their parts or their products, said the AVA. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network