THREE tonnes of Kenyan ivory worth Sh500 million has been seized in Thailand.
In what is an indication that poaching still goes on in Kenya unabated, reports indicate that the 511 elephant tusks were shipped out of Kenya on March 24.
The ivory, hidden among tea leaves, was smuggled through ports in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Singapore before coming to Thailand.
“The bust came after Customs officials received a tip-off in Laos and Thailand and tracked the containers from Kenya,” the Daily Mail reported yesterday.
The bust came a week after Thai Customs officials seized four tonnes of tusks that were smuggled from Congo.
Thai Customs officials said the Kenya tusks “were more beautiful and complete than the previous lot,” and they would likely have been distributed to buyers in China, Vietnam and Thailand had the shipment reached Laos.
Thailand is one of the top destinations for African ivory smuggling in Asia and could face international sanctions if it doesn’t show progress in ending the problem.
Increased poaching is likely to negatively impact the limping tourism industry since Kenya is widely sold as a wildlife destination.
A study released last year showed that 100,000 elephants were killed across Africa between 2010 and 2012.
This was mainly due to increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian nations.