Many tricks are used to disguise ivory

VCN – Ivory is disguised in many items such as cow horns, snail shells, seaweed, even dried fish, and asphalt. These are some of the sophisticated tricks used by smugglers to deceive the authorities.
Ivory disguised in a container of cow horns was seized on February 6, 2023.
Ivory disguised in a container of cow horns was seized on February 6, 2023.

On February 2 and February 6, 2023, Hai Phong Customs Department chaired and coordinated with competent forces to detect and handle two cases of illegal transportation of ivory, seizing a total of more than 600 kg of African ivory. In order to deceive Customs force and competent authorities, the smugglers disguised ivory with cow horns in the cargo containers. However, by using professional measures, Hai Phong Customs Department promptly detected and seized the shipment.

On February 13, the leader of the Customs Enforcement Team (Hai Phong Customs Department) said that the ivory and evidence of the two cases had been seized by the Department and transferred to the evidence warehouse for further handling in accordance with regulations.

Sharing with reporters at the scene of the seizure on February 6, a number of customs officers who have a lot of experience in detecting and handling many cases of illegal transport of ivory said that smugglers always have many tricks to hide and disguise this prohibited item.

“They can be hidden in containers of snail shells, beans, rubber gloves, plastic scrap, packed in wooden boxes, even in containers of dried fish, asphalt barrels. These things are intended to cause difficulties for Customs force when conducting inspection and seizure because ivory is often hidden at the end of the container and disguised, so it is difficult to detect. The process of unloading disguised goods to search for ivory is also very difficult," an officer of Hai Phong Customs Department said.

The following are details of some cases related to typical tricks of ivory concealment discovered and seized by Hai Phong Customs Department.

Many tricks are used to disguise ivory
On May 22, 2014, Du Huong Trading Construction Joint Stock Company (Mong Cai, Quang Ninh) went to Dinh Vu Port Customs Branch (Hai Phong Customs Department) to present a customs dossier and complete procedures for shipment of "all kinds of charcoal, brand new 100%" under the form of temporary import and re-export. However, Customs force discovered and seized about 1.5 tons of ivory through inspection.
At the end of 2013, Hai Phong Customs chaired the seizure of many cases of smuggling ivory disguised in snail shells. Total number of evidence was up to tons of ivory.
At the end of 2013, Hai Phong Customs chaired the seizure of many cases of smuggling ivory disguised in snail shells. Total number of evidence was up to tons of ivory.
On October 27, 2014, Hai Phong Customs Department inspected and discovered about one ton of ivory imported to Hai Phong port in a container which was declared as rubber gloves.
On October 27, 2014, Hai Phong Customs Department inspected and discovered about one ton of ivory imported to Hai Phong port in a container that was declared as rubber gloves.
On January 25, 2019, Hai Phong Customs Department inspected, discovered and seized more than 2 tons of ivory. In this case, ivory was disguised in a cargo container declared as Red Doussie wood.
On January 25, 2019, Hai Phong Customs Department inspected, discovered and seized more than 2 tons of ivory. In this case, ivory was disguised in a cargo container declared as Red Doussie wood.
On April 17, 2019, Hai Phong Customs inspected an imported shipment showing suspicious signs. The goods are shown as asphalt. However, the actual inspection results showed that, besides 700 kg of asphalt packed in drums that are stacked outside the door of the container, inside the remaining drums hide nearly 3.5 tons of ivory originating from Africa and nearly 4 tons of pangolin scales…
On April 17, 2019, Hai Phong Customs inspected an imported shipment showing suspicious signs. The goods are shown as asphalt. However, the actual inspection results showed that, besides 700 kg of asphalt packed in drums that are stacked outside the door of the container, inside the remaining drums hide nearly 3.5 tons of ivory originating from Africa and nearly 4 tons of pangolin scales…
By Thái Bình/Thanh Thuy

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