People, Environment

Ivory Haul Seized in Thailand

Ivory Haul Seized in ThailandIvory Haul Seized in Thailand

Thailand has seized more than 300 kg of ivory from Malawi on flights into Bangkok’s main airport, authorities announced, underscoring the country’s continued role as a regional smuggling hub. The latest haul of some 422 pieces of elephant tusks highlights the extensive international links boasted by wildlife gangs, AFP reported. Packages stuffed with ivory, totally weighing 330 kg, were discovered on two Ethiopian Airline flights from Addis Ababa, the customs department said in a statement, adding that the parcels had originated in Malawi’s capital Lilongwe. A Gambian man, who came to collect the packages on Sunday, was arrested and charged with smuggling banned wildlife products, the statement added. The international trade in ivory, with rare exceptions, has been outlawed since the late 1980s after a precipitous decline in the population of African elephants. But that has not stopped criminal gangs from exploiting the continued demand for the material in Asia. Tusks and other body parts of elephants are prized for decoration as talismans and for use in traditional medicine across parts of Asia–despite a lack of any peer reviewed-proof it works–with China being a major market for such products.


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