13 rhino horns and 1,120 elephant tusks seized in Hong Kong
Following an intelligence tip off from Chinese authorities, Hong Kong Customs seized a huge haul of illegal wildlife items.
During the operation, Hong Kong Customs seized a total of 1,120 ivory tusks, 13 rhino horns and five leopard skins, inside a container shipped from Nigeria to Hong Kong.
Acting on the intelligence, Hong Kong Customs monitored two suspicious containers shipped from Nigeria. On August 6, Customs officers detained the two containers, which were declared as containing "Red Cam Process Wood" for inspection and found 21 sealed wooden crates, disguised as timber, hidden at the rear of one of the containers.
Whilst Wildlife Extra applauds the work of the authorities, and all of those that have made the many seizures of ivory and other wildlife products recently, it seems that very few, if any, arrests are made in conjunction with these seizures. It seems very odd that it is so difficult for the authorities to be able to trace the owners/shippers of these items.
Additionally, if the authorities know or suspect that there are illegal items on board, can they not track the containers to their destination and seize them, and those responsible, there?
Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing unmanifested cargoes is liable to a maximum fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of trading endangered species for commercial purposes is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.
Source: Wildlife Extra