Hong Kong Customs Makes Record Pangolin Seizure

HKG C&E has seized about 8,300 kgs of pangolin scales and 2,100 kgs of ivory tusks estimated at HKD62 million from a 40-foot container declared to contain frozen beef from Nigeria bound for Vietnam at Kwai Chung. The smugglers used ice bags and frozen meat to obscure the distinctive smell of the pangolin scales.

Under HK's Import and Export Ordinance and the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, any person found guilty of importing or exporting unmanifested cargo is liable to a maximum fine of HKD2 million and imprisonment for 7 years and HKD10 million and imprisonment for 10 years for found guilty of importing or exporting an endangered species without a licence respectively.

The seized goods have been estimated to equate to around 500 elephants and up to 13,000 pangolins. WildAid estimates 100,000 pangolins are poached from the wild each year, with all eight species in Africa and Asia now under threat.