February 23, 2019 16:20

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Hai Phong Customs arrested tons of smuggled ivory and pangolin scales

17:13 | 28/01/2019

VCN – On the morning of January 25, 2019, at the permanent container screening center at Hai Phong Customs Department, competent units conducted an inspection and discovered  tons of smuggled ivory and pangolin scales. This is a great achievement in early 2019 by Hai Phong Customs.

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It is known that the shipment was declared at the Dinh Vu port border gate Customs Branch (Hai Phong Customs Department) on January 22, 2019.

The importer is VIC Thanh Binh Import-Export Co., Ltd., (address in Lien Hong commune, Dan Phuong district, Hanoi).

The goods were declared as wood.

hai phong customs arrested tons of smuggled ivory and pangolin scales
Ivory was discovered and arrested by Hai Phong Customs. Photo: T. Binh.

The shipment was automatically classified into red channel by the automated system for Customs clearance (physical inspection by container screening machines).

The shipment came from the port of Apapa (Nigeria, Africa) on December 4, 2018, arrived at Lach Huyen port (Hai Phong) on January 18, 2019.

On January 24, the Customs force brought the shipment to the permanent container screening center and detected suspicious signs.

On the morning of January 25, 2019, the Import and Export Goods Inspection Team with a container scanner (Risk Management Division of Hai Phong Customs Department) coordinated with Dinh Vu port border gate Customs Branch to conduct the physical inspection for the shipment and detected the large volume of prohibited goods mentioned above.

Present at the site, a Customs reporter found that the shipment containing ivory, pangolin scales was packed in a 20-feet container.

hai phong customs arrested tons of smuggled ivory and pangolin scales
Hundreds of ivory pieces are cut and hidden in large wooden crates. Photo: T. Binh

When the seal was opened, there were two layers of wood with large logs of average length from about 1.7 to 2.5 meters.

After the 2 layers of wood, there were wooden crates which were tightly wrapped by big chains, and inside the wooden crates were the prohibited goods.

Through physical inspection, the Customs force discovered a lot of pangolin scales and 5 wooden crates containing ivory.

At the site, PhD. Dang Tat The- Head of the Department of Molecular systematics and conservation genetics (Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology) said that the quantity of discovered ivory and pangolin scales arrested by Hai Phong Customs are listed in Appendix I - Circular 04/2017 / TT-BNNPTNT of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development promulgating the list of wild animals and plants specified in appendixes of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Specifically, Appendix I provides a list of endangered wild animals and plants near extinction that are prohibited for export, import, re-export, whether imported by sea, air or road, for transporting specimens from nature for commercial purposes.

The initial preliminary inspection result showed that the total weight of infringing goods discovered and arrested by Hai Phong Customs were more than 500 kgs of ivory and over 1.5 tons of pangolin scales.

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This is a great achievement in early 2019 by Hai Phong Customs Department and is the largest seizure of ivory and pangolin scales in Hai Phong in recent years.

Customs newspaper will provide further information about this case.

By Thai Binh/ Huyen Trang