Hanoi (dpa) – Customs officials in Ho Chi Minh City seized 537 kilograms of ivory hidden in three hollowed-out blocks of timber from Nigeria, a customs official said Wednesday.
« Smugglers still use old tricks by hiding ivory in empty timber logs, » Pham Quang Nam, a Ho Chi Minh City customs official, told dpa. « The shipment discovered in Cat Lai port of Ho Chi Minh City was on the way to Cambodia, via Vietnam. »
The seizure brings the total amount of ivory seized in Vietnam in the past two months to six tons.
Ivory can be sold within Vietnam for between 770 to 1,200 dollars per kilogram.
On November 12, Vietnam destroyed two tons of ivory and 70 kilograms of rhino horn ahead of the third International Wildlife Trade conference in Hanoi, which was attended by Britain’s Prince William.
Ivory, of which at least 40 tons have been seized since 2011, is frequently transported to the Chinese market from Africa by way of Vietnam.