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Published: Tuesday December 11, 2012 MYT 7:17:00 PM
BY TEH ENG HOCK
PORT KLANG: The Customs Department netted its biggest haul of elephant
tusks ever with the seizure of 1,500 tusks worth RM60mil.
Selangor Customs director Datuk Azis Yacub said the consignment
arrived in two containers at Westports, which were declared as "wooden
The contraband originated from Togo, and moved to another ship in
Spain. It then arrived in Malaysia for transhipment, with China being
its final destination, said Azis.
The tusks totalled 24 tonnes, and were hidden under wooden planks, he
told reporters Tuesday.
"This success is due to intelligence by the Customs. We've tracked the
containers since Dec 1, and on Dec 7, we took hold of them and only
checked the containers on Monday," he said.
The latest seizure is the third by the Selangor Customs Department,
while there were four attempts to smuggle elephant tusks into the
country last year.
The biggest case last year involved 15 tonnes of tusks worth RM4mil,
which was also seized during transhipment in Westports.
Azis said no arrests have been made, but the local company handling
the containers are being investigated.
The case is investigated under Section 133 of the Customs Act for
wrongful declaration, which carries a maximum penalty of RM500,000,
five years jail, or both.
The commercial trade of elephant tusks also contravenes the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
(CITES), he said.
Azis called on members of the public to tip off to Customs Department
at 1800-88-8855 if they have any information on smuggling activities.
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