Customs seizes six tonnes of raw ivory, biggest bust so far in its history


PORT KLANG: Six tonnes of raw ivory has been seized, the largest such seizure so far in the history of the Customs Department.

The raw ivory was part of a seized shipment also containing endangered animal horns and bones estimated to be worth at least RM80mil.

Customs director-general Datuk Zazuli Johan said the ivory was seized together with pangolin scales, rhinoceros horns, tiger fangs and other animal bones and skulls earlier this month.

"On July 10, an enforcement team detected three suspicious containers believed to have come from Africa.

"The containers were scanned and one of them was detected carrying the illegal items," he told reporters at the Selangor Customs Office at North Port on Monday (July 18).

He said checks revealed the container was loaded with wood in front of the container door to dupe authorities.

"In total, we seized six tonnes of ivory, 29kg of rhinoceros horns, 100kg of pangolin scales, 14kg of assorted animal horns and 300kg of assorted animal bones and skulls.

"Based on our investigations, the containers were headed to the Pasir Gudang Port from the United Arab Emirates but was intercepted when the ship reached Port Klang," he said, adding that investigations were ongoing to identify the importer and shipping agent.

He said the seizure was the largest in the department's history.

"In 2012, we seized 500kg of ivory worth RM2.4mil while in 2014, we seized over RM40mil worth of pangolin scales.

"We have classified the case under Section 135(1)(a) of the Customs Act for attempted importing of prohibited items," he said.

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 Ivory , Customs , Seizure , Import , Smuggle , Container

   

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