More African ivory being smuggled into China despite ban: report


More African ivory being smuggled into China despite ban: report

In Summary

  • 90 percent of buyers are Chinese wishing to smuggle the ivory home, said a report co-authored by Lucy Vigne and Esmond Bradley-Martin.
  • Bradley-Martin was a prominent American investigator of the illegal ivory trade.
  • He was found dead at his home in Nairobi on February 5, 2018, with an unexplained stab wound in the neck.
  • He had spent decades tracking the movement of animal products, mostly from Africa to markets in Asia.

More African ivory is being smuggled into China and a ban on trade in ivory has failed to dampen imports, a report said.

Wildlife activists welcomed China’s ban this year on the ivory trade, arguing the move was vital to reducing the slaughter of the endangered species.

But it has not stopped what Save the Elephants called the “prolific growth” in trading in a town in the “Golden Triangle” area.

It is where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet at the confluence of the Ruak and Mekong Rivers, south of China.

There has been a 60 percent growth in new ivory items seen for sale in the Myanmar-China border town of Mong La in the past three years.

90 percent of buyers are Chinese wishing to smuggle the ivory home, the report co-authored by Lucy Vigne and Esmond Bradley-Martin said.

Bradley-Martin was a prominent American investigator of the illegal ivory trade.

Also ReadConservationist Esmond Bradley Martin found dead

He was found dead at his home in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on February 5, 2018, with an unexplained stab wound in the neck.

He had spent decades tracking the movement of animal products, mostly from Africa to markets in Asia.

It gave no separate figures for the period since the ban was introduced.

Myanmar has the world’s largest population of captive elephants, 5,000 in all, but trade in tusks at Mong La and elsewhere increasingly comes from elephants of African origin, the report said.

Myanmar’s government spokesman Zaw Htay was not immediately available for comment.

“Demand is still very high in China … Myanmar has over 2,000 kilometres of borderline with China which is very easy for smugglers to bring ivory across,” said Vigne.

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