Vietnam Seizes 8 Tonnes Of Pangolin Scales, Elephant Ivory Shipped From Nigeria
This is not a great news for the already battered image of Nigeria.
The Southeast Asian country of Vietnam has seized 8 tonnes of pangolin scales and elephant ivory shipped from the West African nation.
Pangolin is an endangered animal that is sought after for its meat and the unproven medicinal properties of their scales.
On Friday, the Vietnamese police said the seizure is the second such haul in a week.
The ivory and pangolin trade are banned by Vietnam, but sales continue to flourish on the black market due to domestic demand and needs from neighbouring China, which feeds the global $20 billion industry.
APF reports that the eight-tonne shipment was discovered Thursday at a port in the coastal city of Danang, according to the Hai Quan online newspaper, a state-run mouthpiece for Vietnam's customs office, making it "the country's biggest ever bust over the past several years."
"The batch originated from Nigeria," it said, adding that officials took several hours to tally up the ivory tusks and pangolin scales, which were listed as "scrap metal" on the container's shipping bill.
Information in the communist state is tightly controlled by the government, which is fighting an uphill battle against the lucrative ivory and pangolin trade.
The timid and nocturnal pangolin, which rolls into a ball when threatened -- making them defenseless against poachers -- is one of the most heavily trafficked mammals.
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