Jump in Illegal Ivory Imports Linked to Chinese Smugglers – AP
As Chinese smuggling rings move into Africa, illegal imports of ivory are expanding rapidly, according to a new report from Traffic International. From AP:
Worldwide, there are an average of 92 ivory seizures a month — or three a day, the report said. Thirty-two seizures of 1.1 tons or more of ivory were recorded from 1998 to 2006, up from 17 in 1989-97, according to the group’s analysis of international elephant product seizure records.
Markets in China are driving the demand for illicit ivory, which arrives either directly or through Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Japan and Thailand are also important final destinations, and the Philippines is a key transit country. [Full text]