Chinese authorities seized 2,748 elephant tusks, or 7.5 tons of ivory, in one of the country’s biggest busts in recent years after the country has banned the sale of illegal wildlife products.
China has banned ivory sales in 2017 and imports were banned in 2015.
Custom officers and police across six provinces confiscated the elephant tusks last month, according to the General Administration of Customs.
“This case represents the largest amount of elephant tusks seized in a single case investigated independently by the General Administration of Customs’ anti-smuggling bureau in recent years,” Sun Zhijie, director of the administration’s anti-smuggling bureau, has told local media.
Sun added that the recent bust destroyed international criminal organization that is known for specializing in smuggling the ivory tusks. About twenty suspects were detained.
According to local media report, the elephant tusks were shipped from African countries by sea, and were smuggled across the Chinese border that was hidden among lumber.
In China, ivory is considered a status symbol and can be used for medicinal use.