Hong Kong customs seize record haul of pangolin scales bound for Vietnam

Reuters 1 Feb 19;

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong customs busted a massive endangered species smuggling operation from Africa, seizing a record quantity of pangolin scales along with more than 1,000 ivory tusks, as authorities step up the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking.

The value of the seized goods - which equates to around 500 elephants and up to 13,000 pangolins - was over HK$62 million, ($7.90 million) officials said on Friday. Originating in Nigeria, the shipment was bound for Vietnam, they added.

In a separate incident, customs officials in the northern Vietnamese port of Hai Phong discovered another 1.4 tonnes of pangolin scales in a shipping container sent from Nigeria, the state-run Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.

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