HONG KONG: An incoming male passenger was arrested at the airport yesterday after customs officers found 10 kilos of suspected ivory pieces.
The passenger, aged 32, had arrived from Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire (formerly known as the Ivory Coast) via Dubai, UAE, according to a government press release. The ivory was found in his check-in luggage during customs clearance.
The case was handed over to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department.
Most recently, a man arriving from Harare, Zimbabwe via Dubai was arrested in early January after 18 kilos of ivory was found in his hand baggage. In December, airport customs officers seized 296 kilos of ivory from a cargo shipment that was en route to Malaysia from Namibia. In November, yet another man was arrested after 15 kilos of ivory were found in his belongings.
Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, importing an endangered species (or a product made from an endangered species) without a licence can be punished by a maximum fine of HKD5 million and two years’ imprisonment.