Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - VN seizes tonne of pangolin scales, ivory




VN seizes tonne of pangolin scales, ivory

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A total of 805 kilogrammes Pangolin scales seized by customs officials in Hanoi, Vietnam. AFP

VN seizes tonne of pangolin scales, ivory

Vietnam has seized around a tonne of pangolin scales and ivory hidden inside dozens of boxes on a flight from Nigeria, state media reported, a haul highlighting the illegal wildlife trade routes connecting Africa and Southeast Asia.

Both the ivory and pangolin trade have been banned in Vietnam. But weak law enforcement in the communist state has allowed a black market to flourish and feed into a global multibillion dollar industry in animal parts and exotic pets.

Southeast Asian countries have become a busy thoroughfare for tusks trafficked from Africa and destined for other parts of Asia, mainly China. Pangolins are treasured in Vietnam and the region for their meat and alleged medicinal properties of their scales.

Authorities at Hanoi’s airport found 805 kilogrammes of pangolin scales as well as 193 kilogrammes of ivory and ivory-derived products in two dozen boxes on Friday, said a report in the official newspaper of the customs department.

The goods were sent from two companies based in Nigeria, according to the labelling. They had arrived on a September 21 flight but were never picked up.

“The [intended] recipients of the cargo package have refused to receive the goods,” the article said.

Photos showed a pile of the pangolin scales on the floor as inspectors went through the boxes, which were initially covered in an extra layer of wrapping and taped shut.

The tiny and shy pangolin, which resembles a scaly anteater, is the world’s most heavily trafficked mammal and despite bans the trade remains rampant.

Vietnam outlawed the ivory trade in 1992 but illegal trade still persists and shops sell ivory pre-dating the ban for decorative and medicinal purposes.

The haul is the latest to make headlines in Vietnam, where seizures are infrequent but usually large.

Last year police found 2.7 tonnes of tusks inside cartons on the back of a truck in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there

  • Cambodia lauded for fight against Covid-19

    Cambodia has drawn global accolades for its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, with a new report finding that the Kingdom has controlled the pandemic better than any other country in Asia. Dr Takeshi Kasai, director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Western Pacific region,