RM7.2 million in ivory seized at KLIA Sheith Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar | January 4, 2017

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New-Ivory-3SEPANG: Ivory worth RM7.2 million smuggled from Democratic
Republic of the Congo, was seized by Customs officers at the Kuala
Lumpur International Airport on Sunday.

The New Year’s Day seizure included 254 elephant tusks, weighing more
than 840kg.

Selangor Customs director Hamzah Sundang said the ivory was flown in via
Turkish Airlines from Kinshasa International Airport.

“We received an anonymous tip that 17 crates containing illegal items
were being flown into the country,” Hamzah told reporters at the KLIA
Customs Complex here today.

He said the crates had the words “wood samples” pasted on them and the
address given was fake.

The case is being investigated under the Customs Act 1967, which carries
a minimum penalty of 10 times the cost of the items seized and a maximum
of 20 times the cost, or no more than three years jail, or both.

Hamzah said smuggling of elephant tusks was becoming more rampant.

He said there were six such cases in 2015 where the department seized
more than RM2.3 million worth of ivory weighing 259.9kg. Last year,
there were nine cases. The seizure, valued at RM10.9 million, weighed

Hamzah, however, does not believe the cases are related as unlike the
previous cases, there were no arrests in this latest seizure.

Last year, Traffic — the wildlife trade monitoring network — labelled
Malaysia the world’s “paramount ivory transit country”, with its ports a
major gateway for the flow of tonnes of illicit ivory between Africa and

Traffic’s ivory seizure records from January 2003 to May 2014 linked
Malaysia to 66 confiscations worldwide, totalling 63,419kg.

Malaysia-linked seizures, it revealed, involved the import, export and
re-export of ivory from at least 23 countries.

The Customs Department had also last year promised to intensify measures
to combat the illegal ivory trade at all entry and exit points
nationwide, including enhancing enforcement efforts, setting up
roadblocks and conducting joint operations with other agencies.


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