Posted on July 24, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Authorities in Singapore have seized over 8.8 tons of elephant ivory and over 12 tons of pangolin scales from a Container Vessel transiting through the port on its way to Vietnam.
The record-breaking seizure, the largest Singapore has seen to date, occurred on Sunday the 21st of July.
Singapore authorities were tipped off to the contraband following a tip-off from Chinese customs.
The vessel in question, whose name has not been disclosed at this time, was transiting from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Vietnam when it made a stop in Singapore.
The containers were registered as containing timber but upon inspection, authorities located sacks containing pangolin scales and elephant ivory.
The value of the ivory is estimated at £10.4m and is said to belonging to approximately 300 African elephants.
The Pangolin scales, on the other hand, are valued at £28.6m and belong to over 2,000 individual animals.
The law in Singapore stipulates that the penalty for the smuggling of such contraband includes a fine of £295,000 and a potential imprisonment of up to two years.
Ivory is used in the creation of ornaments and traditional medicine in Asia while Pangolin scales see use in traditional Chinese medicine.
Pangolins are a critically endangered species, but are unfortunately considered to be the world’s most trafficked mammal, due to its meat which is considered a delicacy, and the use of their scales in medicinal concoctions.