1.7 tons of ivory seized in Togo

2014-01-29 10:57
Nearly two tons of ivory is displayed for the media that was found in a container marked for shipping to Vietnam. (Erick Kaglan, AP)

Nearly two tons of ivory is displayed for the media that was found in a container marked for shipping to Vietnam. (Erick Kaglan, AP)

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Lome - Togo police have seized about 1.7 tons of ivory loaded in a container in the port of Lome, the country's minister of environment and forest resources said on Tuesday.

"Five hundred and fifty ivory pieces and 77 complete pieces of ivory weighing close to 1 689kg were hidden in sacks inside a a container loaded with wood destined for Vietnam," said Andre Johnson.

"The ivory stock was discovered by a joint security task force checking containers in the port of Lome.

"A clearing agent was arrested. Investigations are under way to find members of the ivory traffickers' network."

The seizure is one of the largest ever recorded by the police.

Last August, the police impounded 700kg of ivory, mostly from Chad from a shop in Lome belonging to a 58-year-old Togolese national.

The convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora (Cites) banned international trade in ivory in 1989.

But trafficking has been on the increase in recent years following a high demand in the Middle East and Asia where elephant tusks are used for the manufacture of decorative objects and in traditional medicine.

Read more on:    cites  |  togo  |  poaching

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