Thai authorities seize illegal ivory at airport

Thai authorities seize illegal ivory at airport

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities say they have seized 250 kilograms (550 pounds) of ivory — or approximately 130 tusks & pieces — hidden in crates being shipped from Africa to Asia.

Customs officials said Monday they intercepted wooden crates marked "marble pieces" that contained four suitcases with the ivory hidden inside at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport on Friday.

Customs deputy director-general Chamroen Photiyod said the ivory was worth approximately 10 million baht, or $300,000.

p>He said the shipment, which was headed to Laos, had originated in Congo & transited through several countries before Thai authorities stopped it.

This is the 11th ivory seizure the Thai Customs Department has made this year.

Thailand is a major transit hub & destination for smuggled tusks, which are often carved into tourist trinkets & ornaments.

Source: “Associated Press”