Elephan tusks seized at the seaport (Source: AFP)
 
Phnom Penh (VNA) – The Cambodian authorities said on December 16 that they had seized more than 3.2 tonnes of elephant tusks at a seaport in the capital city of Phnom Penh, marking the country’s largest ivory bust.

The ivory was hidden among marbles in a container sent from Mozambique. The container arrived at the port last year and was abandoned as the unidentified owner of the shipment did not come to pick up the cargo, a customs official said.

According to Sun Chhay, director of the customs and excise office at the port, the discovery of 1,026 tusks at the Phnom Penh port followed a tip from the US embassy.

Cambodia has a miniscule elephant population but its emergence as a new trafficking hub has resulted in several busts over the past five years.

The largest case occurred in 2014, when Cambodian customs seized about three tonnes of ivory hidden in a container of beans at the south-western port of Sihanoukville.

Last year, Cambodia also seized nearly a tonne of ivory hidden in hollowed-out logs discovered inside an abandoned container owned by a company based in Mozambique.-VNA