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Malaysia

Hong Kong makes record ivory seizure and arrests suspected traffickers

Customs officials in Hong Kong have seized about 7,200 kilograms of ivory, or nearly 16,000 pounds, from a shipping container that originated in Malaysia. The haul is the largest ever intercepted by any law enforcement authority worldwide since records began in 1989.

Three suspects have been arrested in connection with the crime, according to a customs press release. If convicted of multiple smuggling offenses, the perpetrators face up to nine years in prison and fines of HK$7 million (US$900,000) each.

The ivory seized represents 700 to 1,000 dead elephants, and includes many small tusks from calves. The size, shape and dark color of the tusks indicate that they likely came from imperiled Central African forest elephants.

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