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Sars foils ivory smuggling attempt

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Old 03-07-2015, 11:56 AM   #1
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Panda Sars foils ivory smuggling attempt

South Africa – South African Revenue Service (SARS) customs officials have foiled an attempt to smuggle ivory worth R4 million.

In a statement on Friday, SARS said custom officials discovered 267 kilograms of ivory while conducting inspections in the cargo area at OR Tambo International airport on Thursday.

“The ivory, which was destined for Vietnam from Zimbabwe, is estimated to have a street value of R4 million, which is one of the biggest interceptions by SARS of smuggled ivory,” said SARS.

During the profiling of shipments, vigilant customs officials noticed a pallet containing numerous plastic shrink-wrapped boxes. Further scrutiny of the supporting documents for the consignment revealed that the goods contained inside were declared as “handicrafts” originating from Zimbabwe destined for Vietnam.

A full inspection of the boxes led to customs officials discovering ivory tusks amongst shredded paper.

“This shipment was incorrectly cleared as handicrafts and no Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) permits were issued for the consignment, a clear attempt to smuggle the goods,” said SARS.

A case has been opened with the South African Police Service for further investigation.

“This is a significant seizure by SARS Customs who implement daily inspections in an effort to foil smuggling of goods.

“SARS will continue to work with other law enforcement agencies to protect the country and its citizens by disrupting organised crime and reducing illicit trade activities,” explained the revenue service. -
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