Massive Ivory Stash Seized In Malaysia

 

Malaysian Customs officers uncovered illegal ivory concealed within secret compartments in a shipment. (Getty Images)

Malaysian Customs officers uncovered illegal ivory concealed within secret compartments in a shipment. (Getty Images)

The Royal Malaysian Customs has received congratulatory messages from South Africa and the World Customs Organisation after thwarting one of the biggest ivory smuggling operations in recent memory. On Monday, Selangor Customs had seized 24 tonnes of elephant tusks and ivory worth US$20 million (RM60 million) in Port Klang from a China-bound ship that is believed to have sailed from Togo.

It is estimated that 750 elephants were killed to produce the quantum of tusks and ivory that was seized. To date, this is the biggest seizure of its kind in Malaysia. Confirming the seizure, Selangor Customs corporate communications chief Mohd Zhafri Johari explained:  “In the China market, ivory could fetch a price of approximately US$25,000 per kilogramme”.

Those arrested will be charged in court under Section 133(1)(a) of the Customs Act 1967 for false declaration and under the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. This international treaty was drawn up in 1973 to protect wildlife against over-exploitation and to prevent international profiteering which involved threatening of species.

Zhafri also noted that the smuggling of ivory through Port Klang was a rare occurrence prior to 2011. Since then, however, customs have made at least three major seizures. The seized ivory is now considered government property and will be destroyed upon completion of investigation and prosecution of the suspected parties. The 1,500-odd tusks were found in two containers. Although shipping documents listed the containers’ final destination as Port Klang, customs intelligence said the containers were planned to be sent to China. Source: Thesundaily.com

Royal Malaysian Customs implements Smartag Solution

Smartag Solutions, a homegrown total radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions provider, will handle 1.3 million containers at all Royal Malaysian Customs (JDKM) checkpoints in Malaysia starting June.The company has entered into a two-year agreement with the government to implement and operate the Container Security and Trade Facilitation System using its RFID solutions at the JDKM checkpoints.

This is the first electronic and electrical Entry Point Project, under the 12 National Key Economic Areas to monitor containers and facilitate clearance within domestic ports and selected high volume routes. The enhancement of container security using the RFID track and trace system reduces the risk of terrorism, dangerous chemicals and contraband from reaching borders while increasing the efficiency of container movement through Customs checkpoints.

The system allows users to use the RFID seal to secure their containers when entering, leaving and moving within the country. Smartag Solutions is expected to handle 50 per cent of the total transactions at the Customs approved by JDKM, or 500,000 containers. Source: BTimes.com

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