SEPANG: The Kuala Lumpur International Airport Customs has foiled yet another attempt to smuggle African ivory pieces inside six cargo parcels labelled as cereals.
With this latest seizure, the total number of attempted smuggling of animal parts and animals via KLIA has reached nine cases this year.
In the latest attempt, the KLIA Customs enforcement officers seized six air cargo parcels which contained 111kg elephant tusks worth RM946,689 on Aug 4.
“The parcels were declared as ‘cereals’ and were flown on Turkish Airlines to KLIA from Entebbe, Uganda via Istanbul, Turkey.
“Some of the parcels contained cereals but upon closer inspection we found the elephant tusks hidden in the parcels.
“The parcels were to be sent to an address in Salak Tinggi, which was found to be fake.
“A phone number that was provided also turned out to be inactive,” said KLIA Customs director Datuk Chik Omar Chik Lim at a press conference here.
He said investigations are still ongoing to trace the owners or the importers of the ivory pieces.
“We have not ascertained who or where the ivory pieces were to be sold to, but usually these are meant for the China and Thailand markets.
“Usually, ivory pieces are used for medicinal purposes or decorative items,” he said.
Chik Omar said up to Aug 21, the KLIA Customs has opened nine cases related to smuggling of ivory, semi-worked ivory products and black pond turtles - all worth more than RM10mil in value.
After the press conference, Chik Omar handed over some 1,174kg of elephant tusks and semi-worked ivory products worth RM10.19mil from several cases between 2015 and 2016 to the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan).
Perhilitan senior assistant director Muhammad Ali Che Aman received the items on behalf of his department.