Skip to main content

More ivory tusks seized by Thai authorities

One week after the largest seizure of smuggled ivory tusks in Thai history, Customs officials confiscated another large haul of tusks totaling over 3 tons from a private company and the authorities vowed to pursue an investigation to identify and arrest the smugglers.
 
Customs chief Somchai Sujjapongse said his men uncovered 511 tusks, weighing 3.1 tons and worth more than $6 million in containers that had been declared as containing tea. The tusks were mixed in with tea leaves, he said, and his officials immediately seized them. Documents showed they were about to be transported to Laos and had arrived by ship from Mombasa in Kenya at Laem Chabang port in Thailand.
 
Although little poaching of elephants takes place in Thailand, the Kingdom has been cited as a major transit point for smuggled tusks and other ivory from Africa to other countries in Asia, especially Laos, Viet Nam and China. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has said that Thailand needs to do more to stop the illegal ivory trade and threatened to sanction the Kingdom. But CITES officials who recently visited Thailand said they were encouraged by the progress that was being made.
 
That progress includes more seizures of smuggled ivory. Last week, Customs officials made the largest seizure of smuggled ivory in Thailand’s history. Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Dapong Rattanasuwan ordered the formation of an investigation panel consisting of multilateral organizations to track down those involved in the transnational illegal ivory trade.
 
The panel will attempt to determine who was connected to the illegal ivory trade from the point of origin to the destination. Authorities in Kenya and Laos will be invited to participate or provide evidence or information for the investigation.
 
A transport firm alerted authorities about a false shipping document, which indicated the container was imported by the Laos-based Soupha Song Import-Export Company.  Investigators tracked the container and found the ivory. The container was shipped from Kenya on March 24. The cargo passed through Sri Lankan and Malaysian ports before arriving at a port in Singapore on April 19 and two days later was shipped on to Thailand.
 
In another victory for environmental protection, Thai authorities deported over 50 loggers from Cambodia last week who were arrested for illegally felling trees inside Thailand.
 
The arrests and deportations were part of improved border security aimed at preventing illegal loggers, who are often armed and dangerous, from poaching Siamese Rosewood, a valuable but disappearing hardwood.  Thai soldiers had killed several Cambodian illegal loggers and suffered casualties of their own in recent years during armed confrontations inside Thailand.
 
See the orgiginal artocle at Thailand Focus

Share this article

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday

thailandtoday thailandtoday thailandtoday