56 elephant tusks seized at Vietnam airport

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Fifty-nine tusks, valued at over R1,3 million, were discovered on Sunday at Ho Chi Minh International Airport in a batch of goods declared as cashew nuts, according to customs officials. The package was sent from Africa, but officials did not specify which country.

So far this year, authorities have reported six cases of smuggled ivory and seized more than 300 kilograms of tusks worth over 800,000 dollars.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, most ivory smuggled into Vietnam is destined for China but some is sold locally for 770 to 1,200 dollars per kilogram.

International trade in ivory has been banned since 1989 with the exception of occasional auctions from stockpiles.

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