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15 tonnes of unknown ivory seized since 2018

17:29 | 17/08/2021

VCN – More than 15 tonnes of ivory have been seized at Vietnam’s seaports since 2018. However, no one has taken responsibility for the import of those shipments according to Education for Nature Vietnam (ENV).

Ivory was discovered and seized by Hai Phong Customs in January 2019. Photo: T.Bình.
Ivory was discovered and seized by Hai Phong Customs in January 2019. Photo: T.Bình.

Facing the above situation, ENV said that competent authorities should focus on investigating wildlife violations detected at the seaport to identify the subjects behind these illegal shipments.

At the same time, ENV suggested that competent authorities also needed to invest efforts and resources to collect all the evidence related to the large-scale seizure at the port, including financial transactions between consignor and consignee, seizing and investigating telephones and other communication methods.

At the same time, cooperating with law enforcement forces in the countries where the shipments departed to request assistance in the investigation.

In addition, the authorities needed to consider the effectiveness of the application of legal provisions in the field of anti-money laundering, tax evasion or regulations on organized crime to serve as a legal basis for dealing with illegal trading and transport of wildlife across borders led by Vietnamese people.

In fact, over the years, the Customs force has chaired to handle many cases of illegal transportation of ivory and wildlife products such as rhino horn, pangolin scales, etc.

Typically, at Hai Phong Customs Department, the unit has seized a large amount of banned goods in the last five years (2016-2020), including: 3,961 tonnes of ivory, 14,321 tonnes of pangolin scales, and 11.9 tonnes of narra paduak wood.

However, the arrest of violators in illegal transport of shipments via seaports faces many difficulties because enterprises under the name of consignees often refuse to receive goods when detecting signs of being handled by competent authorities or they use "bogus businesses" to cause difficulty for investigation.

The transportation routes of infringing shipments is often very complicated through many countries and territories, so international cooperation in the investigation also faces many obstacles.

By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy