Customs officers in Vietnam seized more than two tons of elephant tusks, eight days after confiscating an ivory shipment weighing nearly a ton, authorities said on Monday.
The estimated 4.4 million dollars worth of ivory was disguised as logs and hidden within a shipment of timber from Nigeria.
The cargo was posted to the same company listed as the receiver for nearly a ton of elephant tusks and rhinoceros horn from Mozambique that was discovered on August 13, said Ho Xuan Tam, Da Nang Customs Department spokesman.
Company officials have denied wrongdoing.
The poaching of elephants and rhinoceros and the trafficking of their tusks and horns are outlawed under international efforts to protect endangered species. But the illicit trade from Africa to Asia has grown with rising prosperity creating demand in Vietnam and China.
While elephant ivory is valued for its aesthetic appeal, folk superstitions prize rhino horn for its supposed medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities.
A single gram of ground rhino horn possesses a street value of 133 dollars. Rhino killings reached a record 1 215 last year, 10 times the number killed in 2009, according to the conservation group WildAid. Source: IOL