Huge seizure of ivory found in Hong Kong
October 24, 2012
This past Saturday, authorities in Hong Kong intercepted and seized one of the largest shipments of illegal ivory in history, according to the International Herald Tribune. The containers, which were labeled dried beans and plastic scrap actually contained 1,209 elephant tusks and this ivory weighed more than 8,400 pounds.
The containers came from Kenya and Tanzania, and the seizure marked the biggest in Hong Kong. There were seven arrests made as a result and the tusks were valued at just under $3.5 million. This shows that poaching is on the rise once again, as this amount of tusks is the equivalent of more than 600 dead elephants, the media outlet reports.
This ivory is now considered a conflict resource that helps finance certain problems across Africa, according to The New York Times.
"Some of Africa's most notorious armed groups, including the Lord's Resistance Army, the Shabab and Darfur’s janjaweed are hunting down elephants and using the tusks to buy weapons and sustain their mayhem," Times reporter Jeffrey Gettleman wrote in September.