SERIAL KILLERS STRIKE AGAIN: Thai Customs Seize Another Haul of African Elephant Tusks

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Traffickers at large – reward offered for information

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Thai Customs has seized 315kg of elephant tusks being smuggled in 87 plastic barrels from Mozambique to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport via Kenya. The ivory, worth 28 million Baht (USD800,000) and representing entire herds of innocent elephants, was concealed with rocks and shipped over on a Kenya Airways commercial flight. The recipient of the cargo – a citizen of the Republic of Guinea– fled Bangkok for Kenya soon after the discovery was made by Customs. He is still at large, and the Royal Thai Police will cooperate with Kenyan authorities to secure his capture.

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This is the fifth ivory seizure by Thai Customs in the 2015-2016 fiscal year, with each case featuring different characteristics. Last April saw two huge hauls intercepted at Laem Chabang Port, more smuggled ivory was seized at Suvarnabhumi in July, then there was a sizeable bust in December at Koh Samui International Airport as well as today’s shipment. “We can see that the traffickers are using different entry points, container sizes and smuggling techniques. So we must continue to be diligent and inspect all suspicious cargo coming in,” said the Director General of Royal Thai Customs, Kulit Sombatsiri.

If anybody has any information relating to the network of serial killers responsible for the continuous poaching and trafficking of elephants, please notify Freeland at tipoff@freeland.org.

“This tragic, endless and illegal loss of our magnificent species has to stop. That’s why Freeland is appealing to the public and to any person inside the trade, ports, or government agencies to help us find these serial killers. You will be rewarded,” says Steve Galster, Founder of Freeland.

Photo Credit: Freeland

Note to Editor
For more information and photos, please contact:
Matthew Pritchett, Director of Communications, Freeland, matthew@freeland.org
+66 2 254 8321 ext 121

Freeland is a frontline counter-trafficking organization working for a world that is free of wildlife trafficking and human slavery. Our team of law enforcement, development and communications specialists work alongside partners in Asia, Africa and the Americas to build capacity, raise awareness, strengthen networks and promote good governance to protect critical ecosystems and vulnerable people. Freeland is also the lead implementing partner of “ARREST” (Asia’s Regional Response to Endangered Species Trafficking), the U.S. Government’s largest counter-wildlife trafficking program, which is sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). For more info, visit www.freeland.org also; follow Freeland on twitter @FREELANDpeople or facebook.com/freelandfoundation

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