Malawi destroys 2.6 tons of trafficked ivory

2016-03-14 17:08
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Johannesburg - A total of 781 elephant tusks confiscated from ivory traffickers in Mzuzu, Malawi, were destroyed on Monday, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said.

The tusks were burnt following a high court order after the sentencing of the traffickers in July 2015, the organisation said in a statement.

IFAW director Jason Bell said wildlife crime was among the most dangerous and damaging of international crimes.

"Putting ivory beyond use sends a powerful message to the criminals behind the illegal wildlife trade that their activities will not be tolerated," he said.

Malawi's director of National Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa said wildlife traffickers used the country as a conduit.

The ivory had come from Tanzania and Mozambique and was seized en route to Malawi's capital of Lilongwe.

Malawi had been identified as a key transit route and distribution hub for illicit ivory. This was mostly due to its location between Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia, which were worst hit by poaching.

Malawi had been implicated in some of the world's biggest ivory seizures. In Singapore in 2002, 6.5 tons shipped from Lilongwe were confiscated.

"Today's event sends a clear message - do not target our nation to traffic illicit goods, because we shall turn it to ashes," Kumchedwa said.

Read more on:    malawi  |  poaching

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