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Singapore Makes Its Biggest Illegal Ivory Seizure Since 1932

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Singapore Makes Its Biggest Illegal Ivory Seizure Since 1932

Singapore makes its biggest illegal ivory seizure since 1932, impounding a haul of nearly nine tonnes of contraband tusks from an estimated 300 elephants, authorities said on July 23.

The illegal cargo, discovered on July 21 in a container from the Democratic Republic of the Congo being shipped to Vietnam via Singapore, also included a huge stash of pangolin scales — the third such seizure in as many months.

Officials said both the ivory and pangolin scales were in a container declared to be loaded with timber destined for Vietnam and passing through Singapore, a major transhipment hub for global trade.

On inspection, authorities found 8.8 tonnes of elephant ivory, the National Parks Board, Customs and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a joint statement.

The ivory haul was valued at $12.9 million and is “the largest seizure of elephant ivory in Singapore to date”, it said, and was estimated to have come from 300 African elephants. Also found in the container were 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales and estimated to be worth about $35.7 million. The scales were estimated to have come from 2,000 of the mammals.

Singapore said the seized items would be destroyed.