EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING THIRD PARTY SOURCE: Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore and Singapore Customs
Acting on a tip-off, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), with the support of and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, has seized a shipment of about 3.7 tonnes of illegal ivory. This is the second largest seizure of illegal ivory since 2002.
The shipment, which was declared as tea leaves, was shipped in two 20 foot containers from Kenya and was transiting through Singapore for Vietnam. Upon inspecting the two containers, AVA uncovered 1,783 pieces of raw ivory tusks (whole and cut) concealed among bags of tea dust. AVA also found four pieces of rhinoceros horns and 22 pieces of canine teeth believed to be from African big cats. The haul, estimated at S$8 million, has been seized by AVA for further investigations
Under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of WildFauna and Flora (CITES), to which Singapore is a signatory, international trade in elephants, rhinoceros and certain big cats’ teeth (e.g. leopards and cheetahs) are banned under the convention.
Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, a CITES permit is required for any import, export or re-export of CITES wildlife and their parts and products. The maximum penalty for the illegal wildlife is a fine of S$50,000 per scheduled specimen (not exceeding an aggregate of S$500,000) and/or imprisonment of up to two years. The same penalties apply to any transhipment of CITES specimens through Singapore without proper CITES permits from the exporting/importing country.
“The illegal trade of endangered animal parts is fuelled by increasing demand and poaching. Tackling the illegal wildlife trade requires concerted efforts by the international community. The Singapore government has zero tolerance on the use of Singapore as a conduit to smuggle endangered species and their parts and products. AVA will continue to cooperate and collaborate with partner enforcement agencies nationally and internationally to curb wildlife trafficking.The public can also help reduce demand by not buying such products”, said Ms Lye Fong Keng, DeputyDirector of AVA’s Quarantine & Inspection Group, Wildlife Section.
Anyone with information on illegal wildlife trade can contact AVA at 680-52992 or provide information through the AVA feedback form on AVA’s website. All information provided to the AVA will be kept in strict confidence.