Ivory seized in Thailand passed through Sri Lanka hidden in tea

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Three tonnes of illegal ivory seized in Bangkok passed through Colombo and was hidden in a consignment of tea from Kenya, a media report said.

Colombo is a major transhipment hub, and a large shipment of ivory had previously been seized in Colombo as well.

Reuters, a new agency said the ivory seized in Bangkok was hidden in a shipment of tea from Kenya and was bound for Laos.

On April 20, Thailand seized four tonnes of ivory that came from Congo, said to be the largest shipment seized by the country so far.

Thailand, a top destination for smuggled African ivory, had until the end of March to take steps to shut down domestic trade in ivory or face sanctions under the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), the report said.

In January, Thailand had passed a new law to regulate and control the ivory trade, which requires large items of privately owned ivory to be registered with wildlife and conservation officials.

More than 20,000 African elephants were killed for ivory in 2013, a CITES monitoring program showed, leaving a population believed to be around 500,000.

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