Da Nang customs detect tons of wildlife parts stashed in red bean shipment

16:36 | 26/08/2015
Customs officers in the central city of Da Nang on Tuesday seized tons of elephant tusks and pangolin scales hidden inside 200 sacks of red bean shipped from Malaysia.

These sacks of bean, weighing about 19 tons,   were packed in a container that was shipped to Tien Sa Port on August 13, the customs said.

Due to heavy rain yesterday, the examination of all the sacks was not fully completed, and the customs force has yet to determine the exact amount of the smuggled wildlife parts.

However, officers estimated that tons of such parts had been stashed among the beans.
 
The importer of the shipment is Hung Huy Bao Co., Ltd., based in Da Nang.

The Tien Sa port customs said this case was the third incident involving the smuggling of large quantities of wildlife parts that the force has discovered since early this month.

On August 13, port customs officers seized more than 700kg of elephant tusks and rhino horns hidden inside blocks of fake marble shipped to Da Nang from Mozambique.

The consignee of the shipment is Van An Co., Ltd., also based in the city.

On August 21, port customs also detected 2.2 tons of elephant tusks hidden in blocks of timber, slated to be delivered to the same company.

Van An Co. and Hung Huy Bao Co. have business relations, concerned agencies said, adding that they are investigating these cases.

The trade in tusks and rhino horn is banned under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora as well as Vietnamese law, as the two items are listed in the World’s Red Book, customs officers said.

Meanwhile, trading in pangolins is banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, an international agreement to which Vietnam is a party.

Despite the ban, pangolin populations have suffered from illegal trafficking due to unfounded beliefs in Asia that their scales can stimulate lactation or treat cancer or asthma, according to Dan Challender, an expert on the species at the University of Kent in the UK.

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