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.
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.