An African wildlife enforcement team arrested a group of business executives for trafficking at least 1.5 tons of elephant tusks to Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, according to counter-trafficking organization Freeland. According to Bangkok-based NGO, multiple arrests made between July 28 and August 2 have concluded with the first court hearing for two of the accused in Pointe-Noire, Republic of Congo. Four men were originally arrested, while two were released after questioning over the past weekend. The other two detainees own shipping companies based in the Republic of the Congo that are allegedly responsible for secretly moving large consignments of elephant tusks out of West Africa to Asia, including 1,493 kilograms seized in Vietnam in 2014. The accused are also linked to a “Chinese business interest” suspected of placing the order, who may also be responsible for similarly massive shipments of elephant tusks seized by Thai, Vietnamese, and Singaporean authorities … [Read more...] about Congo businessmen accused of trafficking tons of elephant tusks to Asia
Elephant tusks poaching
Kenyan authorities have seized a container loaded with 87 elephant tusks and disguised as soapstone carvings destined for Hong Kong, a customs official said. The 20-foot container was impounded at a depot in Nairobi. As it was being inspected for clearance for shipment, officials scanning its contents became suspicious. "It was declared as assorted handicrafts destined for Hong Kong. Upon scanning, our customs officers discovered that the images were suspect and a decision was made to subject the container to a 100 percent verification," said Ezekiel Maru, communications and marketing officer at the Kenya Revenue. "We found 11 wooden crates containing 25 pieces of elephant tusks and 15 cartons containing 61 pieces of tusks. The other cartons that had been used to camouflage had assorted soapstone and wood carvings. Some had tiles and other stuffings," he said, as other officers unpacked the container in the background. Maru, speaking to reporters on Friday, said a total of 87 … [Read more...] about Kenya seizes container with 87 elephant tusks
Ho Chi Minh City customs officers have seized 14.6 kilograms of elephant tusks, reportedly belonging to a protected species, in a smuggled shipment from France. The express shipment contained three pieces of elephant tusks, which were worth an estimated VND3 billion (US$141,500), according to a customs department statement on Wednesday. The seizure was made on August 1. The tusks were meant for a consignee in Da Nang City, central Vietnam. According to tropical biologists at the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, the tusks belong to the African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana), which is described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "vulnerable" as its population is threatened by poaching and human encroachment of natural areas. No one has been arrested. Investigation is going on. Rising affluence in Asia has caused demand for ivory and many other wildlife products to soar in recent years, putting many animal and plant species under severe … [Read more...] about Vietnam seizes endangered elephants’ tusks from France
VietNamNet Bridge – The serious poaching which has not been eased over the last many years has led to the sharp fall of the number of elephant individuals in Vietnam, from 1500-2000 in 1990s to tens of elephants now. … [Read more...] about No one can save Vietnam’s elephants?
Releasing a report rating countries' efforts at stopping the trade in endangered species, WWF said elephant poaching was at crisis levels in central Africa while the survival of rhinos was under grave threat in South Africa. In parts of Asia, rhino horns are highly prized for their use in traditional medicines -- some believe they can cure cancer -- while elephants' ivory has for centuries been regarded as a precious decoration. Global efforts to stem the trade have been under way for years, but China, Thailand and Vietnam are allowing black markets in various endangered species to flourish by failing to adequately police key areas, according to WWF. It said Vietnam was one of the countries of most concern, giving it a worst-possible "red" score for failing to stem the trade in rhino horns as well as tiger parts. "It is time for Vietnam to face the fact that its illegal consumption of rhino horn is driving the widespread poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa," said WWF's global … [Read more...] about Asia fuels record elephant, rhino killings: WWF