Massive Ivory Seizure by Royal Malaysian Customs

19 diciembre 2012

Royal Malaysian Customs seized 2,342 pieces of elephant ivory weighing a staggering six tonnes concealed in two containers with wood shipped from Lomé, Togo. The two containers, declared to contain "wooden floor tiles", were detained on 7 December 2012 at Port Klang, Malaysia.

On10 December, the containers were inspected by Customs officers who discovered the ivory hidden in secret compartments about one metre deep among stacks of sawed mahogany wood. The seized ivory comprised 2,341 pieces and weighed a total of 6,034 kilograms.

Based on intelligence received, Royal Malaysian Customs tracked the containers from Lomé. The shipment changed vessel in Algeciras, Spain before heading for Port Klang. In Port Klang the shipment was to be reloaded and shipped on another vessel to China.

A Malaysian logistics company is being investigated under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act of 2008 for import, in transit or re-export of scheduled species without a valid permit which provides for a maximum jail term of seven years upon conviction, and under the Customs Act of 1967 for false declaration which provides for a maximum jail term of five years upon conviction.

This is the third major seizure of elephant ivory from Africa by Royal Malaysian Customs at Port Klang within a year. In December 2011, 211 pieces of ivory weighing 1,400 kilograms were seized, and in January this year, a shipment with 492 kilograms of ivory was seized.