The General Administration of China Customs has seized 7.48 tons of elephant ivory – potentially the second biggest ivory seizure worldwide since detailed records were first compiled in 1989.
The seizure was made by the Huangpu Branch of China Customs in Guangdong Province and took place on March 30, just five days after Vietnam reported the seizure of 9.12 tons of ivory in Tien Sa Port in Da Nang. Both seizures, if officially confirmed, are larger than the 7.12 tons of ivory seized in Singapore in 2002, currently the biggest on record.
238 customs officers took part in the Guangdong Province operation, and 20 suspects have been detained from cities around the country, including Hefei, Nanjing, Beijing, Fuzhou and Qingdao.
The tusks were shipped from African countries labeled as wood. Last year, China’s General Administration of Customs introduced advanced detection equipment to improve the efficiency of its anti-smuggling work.