Thailand makes 'biggest seizure' of ivory tusks worth $6m

2015-04-20 13:22

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Bangkok - Thai customs officials have seized four tons of ivory worth $6m, authorities said on Monday, in what the department called the largest bust of its kind in Thailand's history.

The elephant tusks were hidden in bags containing dried beans in containers originating from the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Thai Customs Department said in a statement, and were bound for Laos.

The seizure comes as Thailand, a top destination for African ivory smuggling in Asia is under increasing pressure to crack down on its illegal ivory trade.

Thailand was given until the end of March to take measures to shut down domestic trade in ivory or face sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (Cites).

Any sanctions could impact Thailand's trade in species covered by the convention, including ornamental plants such as orchids.

"We consider this the biggest seizure in Thai history. We believe that this ivory was due to be sold to customers in China, Vietnam and Thailand," the Thai Customs Department said in a statement.

Somchai Sujjapongse, director-general of the customs department, said the ivory was discovered on April 18 when officers acted on a tip-off.

Much of the ivory smuggled into Thailand from other countries is turned into ornaments that are shipped to China and Vietnam to meet burgeoning demand.

China announced a one-year ban on the import of African ivory carvings in February, ahead of a visit by Britain's Prince William, a vocal animal welfare activist.

In January, Thailand passed new legislation to regulate and control the possession and trade of ivory. Under the law, possession of African ivory for sale in Thailand is prohibited.

Over 20 000 African elephants were killed for ivory in 2013, a Cites monitoring program showed, leaving a population believed to be around 500 000.

Read more on:    cites  |  thailand  |  animals  |  poaching

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.