Singapore seizes 8.8 tonnes of ivory worth $17.6 million, 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales worth $48.6 million
Haul estimated to have come from 300 elephants, 2,000 pangolins
It is believed to be one of the largest hauls of elephant ivory worldwide in recent years.
On Sunday, 8.8 tonnes of ivory worth $17.6 million was seized from three containers here. It was Singapore's largest seizure to date.
The ivory is estimated to have come from almost 300 African elephants.
In a joint media release yesterday, the National Parks Board, Singapore Customs and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said they had inspected a shipment of three containers from the Democratic Republic of Congo being transshipped through Singapore to Vietnam. It was said to contain timber.
In one of the containers, they found the ivory packed in 132 bags.
The haul is almost 50 times the weight of Singapore's previous ivory seizure of 177kg in April. That was worth $120,000.
Also seized from the same containers on Sunday were 11.9 tonnes of pangolin scales worth $48.6 million.
Together with the ivory, the haul was worth a total of $66.2 million.
This was the third major seizure of pangolin scales in Singapore this year. The New Paper had reported in April that two large shipments of pangolin scales were intercepted within a week of each other.
They were found to contain 12.9 tonnes and 12.7 tonnes respectively, worth $52.3 million and $51.6 million.
Almost 2,000 giant ground pangolins are believed to have been killed for the scales seized on Sunday.
With this, Singapore has seized a total of 37.5 tonnes of pangolin scales, worth about $152.5 million, in three months.
According to the media release, information from China's General Administration of Customs enabled Singapore authorities to seize the pangolin scales and ivory.
The release also stated that the seized pangolin scales and ivory will be destroyed to prevent them from re-entering the market.
Singapore is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
Cites is an international agreement between governments that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
Elephants and pangolins are protected species under Cites, and international trade in elephant ivory and pangolin scales is prohibited.
Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, the maximum penalty for illegal import, export and re-export of wildlife is a fine of up to $500,000 and two years imprisonment.