Singapore stated on Tuesday it had seized eight.eight tonnes of elephant ivory, a document haul by authorities within the city-state, which conservation teams say is a transit level for the unlawful wildlife commerce.
The elephant ivory, estimated to be value $12.9 million, got here from practically 300 African elephants, and was heading to Vietnam by way of Singapore from Democratic Republic of the Congo.
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The haul additionally contained the third main seizure of pangolin scales in Singapore this 12 months.
The pangolin, a scaly anteater, is without doubt one of the most trafficked mammals on this planet. Its meat is taken into account a delicacy in Vietnam and China, and the scales are utilized in conventional Chinese language medication, although the advantages are disputed by medical scientists.
“The seized pangolin scales and elephant ivory can be destroyed to stop them from re-entering the market,” the Singapore Customs, Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and the Nationwide Parks Board stated, including that the July 21 seizure got here after a tip-off from China’s customs division.
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The ivory haul falls simply wanting 9.1 tonnes seizure in Vietnam in March, which non-government organisation Environmental Investigation Company stated was regarded as the most important ever globally.
There was a flurry of seizures, together with of rhino horns, in Singapore, Hong Kong, and Vietnam in latest months.
“Singapore has at all times been inadvertently implicated within the world ivory commerce for 2 causes: its world connectivity, in addition to the presence of a small home market the place pre-1990s ivory could be legally offered,” stated Kim Stengert, chief communications officer for WWF Singapore.
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“The consistency of those large-scale seizures is powerful proof of organised crime behind unlawful wildlife commerce coming by way of or into Singapore.”
Singapore authorities stated the newest seizure additionally contained 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales, value about $35.7 million and equal to shut to 2,000 pangolins.
Singapore has seized a complete of 37.5 tonnes of pangolin scales since April, together with one raid which was the most important of its form worldwide in 5 years.
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The town-state is a signatory to the Conference on Worldwide Commerce in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and says it’s dedicated to the worldwide effort to curb the unlawful wildlife commerce.