3 arrests as Hong Kong makes record ivory seizure totalling 7.2 tonnes

Hong Kong Customs seized 7.2 tonnes of ivory tusks from a container arriving from Malaysia at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound on Tuesday. The illegal shipment – which also included frozen fish – had an estimated value of HK$7.2 million.

According to WildAid, the seizure represents between 700 and 1,000 elephants – including many baby elephants. Campaigner Alex Hofford said it demonstrates transnational smuggling networks take advantage of the lack of legislation in Hong Kong regarding the ivory trade in light of a potential citywide ban by 2021.

In June, Hong Kong Customs seized approximately 57.6 kilograms of suspected worked ivory with an estimated value of HKD1.15 million at Hong Kong International Airport. Tuesday’s seizure marks the eighth ivory bust since the beginning of 2017, including both seizures of worked and raw ivory tusks, and individual smugglers.