Busted: S$2m worth of ivory seized by Singapore authorities

A total of 106 pieces of illegal raw ivory tusks were recovered from 15 wooden crates. Photo: AVA
These ivory tusks, weighing up to one tonne, are estimated to be worth S$2 million. Photo: AVA
Consignment falsely declared as coffee berries was destined for another Asian country when discovered
Published: 1:05 PM, April 3, 2014
Updated: 1:29 AM, April 5, 2014

SINGAPORE — An illegal attempt to smuggle S$2 million worth of elephant ivory was uncovered by Singapore authorities last week, following a tip-off.

This is the third largest seizure of illegal ivory in Singapore since 2002, said a joint statement released by Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Singapore Customs.

Packed into a 6m long container and falsely declared as coffee berries, the shipment transiting from Africa through Singapore was destined for another Asian country.

The shipment was detained, however, after AVA and Singapore Customs officers at Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station scanned and detected “irregularities in the consignment of the goods”.

Since 1989, international trade of ivory has been forbidden under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which classified elephants as “endangered species”.