Thai Customs Seizes $3M in Illegal African Ivory

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A huge illegal shipments of ivory has been intercepted in Thailand. Customs officials there seized two tons of African ivory, worth more than three million U.S. dollars. The ivory had been en route to India.

Thai Customs officials on Friday showed off two tons of elephant tusks from Kenya that were seized in Bangkok.

[Prasong Poonthanet, Thai Director General of Customs]:
"There are 247 pieces of ivory--that's at least 120 elephants. From the ivory, we can determine that they killed the elephants and didn't saw off their tusks. We can see remnants of elephant skin on it, which they've burnt to remove. So we can assume that the elephants were killed."

Authorities discovered the shipment of ivory on Wednesday, when they searched a container that appeared suspicious during a routine scan.

Officers found the ivory packed into plastic bags and mixed in with 800 boxes of frozen mackerel.

The shipment, falsely declared as one ton of mackerel, was being shipped from Kenya to India by a frozen food importer.

The ivory, worth over $3 million U.S. dollars, will be kept at the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

The UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned all international trade in ivory in 1989.

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