Singapore authorities on Monday destroyed 7.9 tonnes of illegal ivory seized from smugglers over the last two years.
The massive collection, worth S$13 million ($9.6 million), comes from poachers attempting to use Singapore as a port-of-call in order to conceal the shipments’ illegal contents.
Smugglers often use destinations like Singapore, where there is little wildlife poaching activity, to mask shipments coming from typical hotbeds of such origin.
The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said this is the first time it’s crushing seized ivory, which it fed through an industrial rock crusher and incinerated the remains. The ash is set to be sent to the Semakau Island landfill to the south of Singapore.
Much of the haul comes from a huge May 2015 bust of about 4.6 tonnes of elephant tusks, worth S$8 million ($5.9 million). The shipment from Kenya was en route to Vietnam and declared as tea leaves.
Singapore’s penalties for importing and exporting banned animal parts carry fines of up to S$500,000 ($369,000), and up to two years in prison.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.