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Asia

Vietnam seizes yet another illegal shipment of ivory

Vietnamese custom officials have seized a ton of ivory shipped from Kenya. The ivory black market trade continues to be an ongoing problem in the country.

Hong Kong Vietnamesen schmuggeln Elfenbein (picture-alliance/dpa/A. Hofford)

Ivory seized from Vietnam passengers in Hong Kong

Officials seized the shipment on Wednesday at Cat Lai port in Ho Chi Minh City, one of several such shipments intercepted this month.

The shipment, which was on its way to Cambodia from Kenya, had been hidden in timber in two containers discovered by authorities. Vietnam has become part of a popular transit route for ivory, which is often destined for other countries in Asia, where it's used to make various decorative products.

"All that ivory was not just to be consumed in Vietnam," an unnamed customs official told AFP news agency. "We believe much of it was to be later transferred to the main market, China."

Vietnam's ivory problem

Vietnam itself has become a major market for ivory, the sale of which was outlawed in 1992. A survey conducted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) reported last year that more than 16,000 ivory products were for sale in the city of Hanoi.

Vietnamese newspaper - Thanh Nien newspaper - reported that this most recent shipment had likely come from Malaysia, where it arrived from Kenya's Mombasa port.

There have been several reports of ivory shipments being seized in Vietnam this month, including one on October 21 and another one on October 1 this year.

blc/kl  (AP, AFP, EFE)

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