Saturday , January 20 2018
Home / News / World / Giant elephant tusks seized at Bangkok airport

Giant elephant tusks seized at Bangkok airport

Thai forensic experts work near confiscated elephant tusks after a news conference at the Customs Department in Bangkok
Image: The haul consisted of three large tasks and 31 fragments

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of smuggled elephant tusks have been seized by authorities in Thailand.

The haul of ivory worth around 15 million Thai Baht (almost £345,000) and weighing 148kg (325 pounds) was discovered at Bangkok airport after it was flagged by officials.

The three large tusks and 31 tusk fragments from Nigeria were destined for China, where demand for ivory is still high despite a recent crackdown.

Officials said the size of the tusks show they were taken from at-risk African elephants. Discoloration suggests they have been in storage for a long time.

Somkiat Soontornpittakkool, an official from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation said: “From what I can tell, these ivory tusks were taken from very big elephants, and elephants of that size are now hard to find even in Africa.

Thai forensic experts work near confiscated elephant tusks after a news conference at the Customs Department in Bangkok
Image: Thailand is a major transit hub for smuggled tusks

“And judging from how the tusks look, they appear to have been taken a while ago. They weren’t hunted recently. They were taken and stored for a while before smugglers sent them out.”

The seized cargo has now been impounded as police try to identify the smugglers.

Despite laws to regulate the domestic ivory markets and criminalise the sale of African elephant ivory, Thailand is still considered a major transit hub for smuggled tusks.

More from World

  • Worldwide condemnation of President Trump’s ‘shithole’ slur

  • ‘Breakthrough’ agreement reached on German coalition talks

  • Stricken Iranian oil tanker continues to explode

  • Memorial held for teenager Amy ‘Dolly’ Everett after bullying suicide

  • Homeless man in Paris becomes Twitter sensation

  • Sky Views: The Post ‘resonant to our times’

The Customs Department said last year Thai officials seized 510 elephant tusk fragments in four separate cases.

The biggest demand comes from China where the Government has tried to cut the trade by making the domestic sale of ivory illegal starting this year.

More world news

  • Previous article Memorial held for teen after bullying suicide
  • Next article Homeless man becomes online sensation




  • Check Also

    Tests on Cranberries singer O’Riordan’s body

    Dolores O'Riordan
    Image: Dolores O’Riordan was to sing on a new version of Zombie with Bad Wolves

    A coroner is awaiting results of “various tests” to determine what caused the death of The Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan.

    At the opening of the inquest, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told that O’Riordan was found unresponsive in her hotel room on Monday and declared dead at the scene by ambulance workers.

    Coroner’s officer Stephen Earl said: “A post-mortem examination has now taken place and the court is awaiting the results of various tests that have been commissioned.”

    O’Riordan, 46, had been in London for a recording session at the time of her death, her publicist said earlier this week.

    She had been staying at the Hilton on Park Lane.

    Police have said they do not think her death is suspicious.

    Tributes have been paid by singers, producers and even Irish President Michael D Higgins, who described O’Riordan and her Irish rock band as having had an immense influence on rock and pop music in Ireland and internationally.

    More from The Cranberries

    • The Cranberries Zombie cover to raise money for singer Dolores O’Riordan’s children

    • Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan’s death not suspicious

    • The Cranberries: A sweet and lingering fruit of the 90s

    • Cranberries singer Dolores O’Riordan had planned to re-record Zombie the day after her death

    The Cranberries formed in the Irish city of Limerick at the end of the 1980s.

    Their international hits included the songs Dream, Linger and Zombie.

    More stories

    • Previous article Eight killed in Germany by storm that swept UK
    • Next article Disgraced ex-Olympics doctor faces abuse accusers