More Than 1 Ton of Mammoth Tusks Seized by Heilonjiang Customs Officials

By | Apr 13, 2017 06:37 AM EDT
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Ivory is displayed before being crushed during a public event in Dongguan, south China's Guangdong province. (Photo : Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

Heilongjiang province customs and government officials have intercepted a truck heading towards the Russian border containing more than one ton of mammoth ivory. The ivories were reportedly placed into covert compartments inside the truck. Officials counted 107 mammoth ivory tusks alongside 1.5 tons of jade and 37 pieces of rhinoceros horns.

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Upon initial questioning by customs official at the Luobei boarder, the driver of the truck reportedly said he was transporting soy beans. When he was told that the truck needed further inspection, the driver decided to escape, leaving the truck behind. In February, the driver was eventually caught in a hotel along with the alleged owner of the truck who masterminded the concealment of the abovementioned goods.

China has vowed to end the sale and smuggling of ivory in the country by the end of the year. In line with this pledge, almost 70 ivory retails shops and carving stores were closed down in March. These stores account for more than 33 percent of all the total ivory stores in China.

The illegal smuggling of mammoth ivory in China is linked to Russia's exportation of tusks every year. In the past, Russia has made headlines after offcials unearthed more than 150 million carcasses of mammoths in the Siberian tundra. Mammoths are believed to have existed on Earth more than 4,000 years ago.

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