Ivory seized at Ugandan airport

Millions of dollars worth of ivory has been found at Entebbe airport over the last few months

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The Independent Online

More than 900kgs of ivory worth $2.3m have been discovered by airport customs in a Ugandan airport.

The ivory was found by police at Entebbe Airport on an Ethiopian Airlines flight bound for Singapore.

This is not an isolated incident. 600kgs of ivory were seized at the same airport last month, also destined for Singapore.

Ugandan wildlife authorities are becoming increasingly concerned about the market for ivory in Asia, and are keen to improve relations with organisations such as ASEAN-WEN, the Association of Southeast Asians Nations’ Wildlife Enforcement Network.

“I appeal to our colleagues in the Asian countries particularly the ASEAN-WEN to put in more effort. They’ve been working with us but they need to put in more effort to ensure that whenever things leave this country, if we do not get them they should arrest them, and we should do a joint investigation,” Margaret Kasumba from Uganda Wildlife Authority said.

Hundreds of thousands of African elephants have been killed over the last few years to satisfy the growing demand for ivory abroad, particularly in Asia.

As well as hastening the extinction of African elephants, the ivory trade is also responsible for the death of numerous conservation guards in Uganda’s national parks.

It is often terrorist groups such as Boko Haram that are making money from the ivory market, using it to buy weaponry and ammunition.