Thai Customs Seize 250Kg of Ivory at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport

Customs officials display seized ivory during a press conference in Bangkok (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)


BANGKOK – On Friday, Thai Customs House Authorities at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport seized a shipment of 250Kg ivory which was inside two wooden crates marked “marble pieces” that contained four suitcases with the ivory inside.

The ivory was worth an estimated 10 million baht (US$295,000), he said. This is the 11th ivory seizure the Thai Customs Department has made this year. Thailand is a major transit hub and destination for smuggled tusks, which are often carved into tourist trinkets and ornaments.

Thai customs officials said the haul was headed from Congo to Laos and transited through several countries in between. Thai authorities received a tip-off and began tracking the shipment when it left Addis Ababa airport in Ethiopia.

Poachers have killed tens of thousands of African elephants for their tusks in recent years to meet demand for ivory in Asia.