Vietnam seizes two tonnes of ivory, pangolin scales

Vietnam seizes two tonnes of ivory, pangolin scales

More than two tonnes of pangolin scales and ivory from Africa have been seized by Vietnamese authorities in Haiphong. — Picture by Julia Chan

HANOI, Dec 24 — Vietnamese authorities have seized more than two tonnes of pangolin scales and ivory from Africa, state media reported today.

Trade in ivory and pangolin is illegal in Vietnam but wildlife trafficking remains widespread.

Customs authorities in the northern port city of Haiphong found 330 kg of ivory and 1.7 tonnes of pangolin scales hidden in three containers of wood this month, the Customs Department’s Hai Quan newspaper reported.

The containers came from Nigeria, the newspaper said.

Pangolins, known as scaly anteaters, are critically endangered.

Some Vietnamese people believe that their ground scales have health benefits but scientists say the scales are made of keratin, the same substance that fingernails are made of, and do nothing for health. — Reuters