Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Malaysia confiscates nearly £750,000 of ivory tusks and pangolin scales

Ivory tusks and pangolin scales worth almost four million Malaysian ringgits (£750,00) have been seized at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
The tusks, valued at 275,000 ringgits (£48,500), had been shipped on Etihad Airways from Nigeria via Abu Dhabi on Sunday, senior customs official Mohammad Pudzi said.

In the same day, 300kg of pangolin scales worth 3.9 million ringgits (£687,709) were found, having been shipped from the Democratic Republic of Congo on Ethiopian Airlines.

Both shipments were found by officials in the airport's cargo warehouse and had been sent to fake addresses so their recipients could not be traced.

Malaysia customs officers display pangolin scales seized over the weekend during a news conference at the airport in Sepang, Malaysia

The pangolin, which resembles an armadillo, is the world's most hunted animal.

Their scales are sold in bags on the black market in Asia and are believed to have healing properties.

There have been several seizures of wildlife at Kuala Lumpur International Airport this year, and investigators said airport staff could be involved in the illegal trade.
"We don't have proof but I believe that they (trafficking syndicates) exploit our systems and procedures in these smuggling activities," Mr Pudzi said.

 baby Sunda pangolin nicknamed 'Sandshrew' is taken out for feeding by Serena Oh, assistant director and head vet of Veterinary Services in Wildlife Reserves Singapore, at the Singapore Zoo on June 30, 2017. Sandshrew was brought to the Wildlife Health and Research Centre on January 16, reportedly found stranded in the Upper Thomson area by a member of the public. Sunda pangolins are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). / AFP PHOTO / ROSLA

Around 55 elephants are poached in Africa every day, according to the World Wildlife Fund, and the majority of elephant tusks are smuggled into Asia.

Last month, what is believed to be the world's largest seizure of ivory took place in Hong Kong, when more than seven tonnes arrived in a shipping container from Malaysia.

Antique ivory produced before 1947 is still legal in the UK, but ivory sale in general is illegal.

China, the world's largest importer of ivory tusks, has promised to ban all ivory trade and processing by the end of the year.

SKY      News.