Hong Kong Customs makes record seizure of ivory tusks

Hong Kong Customs seized about 7 200 kilograms of ivory tusks with an estimated market value of about $72 million on July 4 in a container from Malaysia at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound.

Hong Kong Customs seized about 7 200 kilograms of ivory tusks with an estimated market value of about $72 million on July 4 in a container from Malaysia at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. This is a record high in quantity for a seizure of ivory tusks over the past 30 years.

Through risk assessment, Customs officers inspected a 40-foot container declared to contain frozen fish arriving from Malaysia. Upon inspection, Customs officers found the ivory tusks beneath the frozen fish cartons inside the container.

Hong Kong Customs seized about 7 200 kilograms of ivory tusks with an estimated market value of about $72 million on July 4 in a container from Malaysia at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound.

Follow-up investigation resulted in the arrest of a male proprietor and two female staff members, aged between 42 and 57, of a trading company in Tuen Mun. Investigation is ongoing.

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo 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 importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence is liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years.