Singapore sends 1.8 tonnes of ivory back to Africa

Last Updated: Thu, Jul 25, 2013 03:30 hrs

Singapore, July 25 (IANS) Singapore is sending back 1.8 tonnes of ivory tusks to Africa for further investigation and enforcement action there, officials said.

Singapore seized a shipment of ivory, estimated to be worth 2.5 million Singapore dollars ($1.97 million), in January when it was in transit in Singapore, Xinhua reported.

The tusks were en route to another country from Kenya. They were packed in 65 gunny sacks and falsely declared as waste paper.

The ivory has been inspected and quantity verified by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, which said no local importer was involved in the case.

The authority is working with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Police and the Lusaka Agreement Taskforce in returning the tusks to Africa.

The shipment was the second largest ivory seizure in Singapore since 2002.

Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and all African and Asian elephants are endangered species under the convention.

International trade in ivory has been banned under the convention since 1989.

In Singapore, the maximum penalty for illegal trade of ivory is a fine of 50,000 Singapore dollars (around $39,400) or imprisonment of up to two years.

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