Hong Kong customs officials on Thursday seized more than 2 tons of elephant tusks, hidden in a cargo container from Togo.Customs officers selected a 20-ft container declared to contain "plank" arriving from Togo for inspection.
After an X-ray examination, the officers found the ivory tusks, weighing 2.4 tons in total, in the innermost part of the container.
This latest haul was worth around 2.2 million U.S. dollars, but it is only part of a bigger trade.
Demand for ivory as an ornamental item is soaring in Asia and especially in China, driven by the rising purchasing power of the region's newly affluent classes, as well as growing Chinese investment in Africa and demand for its resources.
A Hong Kong customs official said on Sunday the smugglers had used a new route for their latest shipment.
China is the world's largest illegal ivory market, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.
Photo : Raymond Wong, Hong Kong Customs Divisional Commander