Three travellers sentenced for smuggling worked ivory and rhino horns
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Three travellers who smuggled worked ivory and rhino horns were convicted at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts today (October 18) for violating the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance (the Ordinance).
A spokesman for the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) said that the three female passengers, aged 20 to 35, had arrived yesterday (October 17) from Harare, Zimbabwe, via Dubai, the United Arab Emirates. About 43 kilograms of worked ivory were found in the baggage of two of the passengers by Customs Officers. Upon further examination, about 2 kg of rhino horns were found bundled around the abdomen and thighs of the third passenger.
Subsequent to follow-up investigations, the AFCD charged the women with illegal import of specimens of listed species in Appendix I to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). They were each sentenced to imprisonment for two months.
Elephants and rhinos are listed in Appendix I to the CITES and regulated under the Ordinance in Hong Kong. Any person importing, exporting or re-exporting specimens of endangered species not in accordance with the Ordinance will be liable to a maximum fine of $5 million and imprisonment for two years. The specimens will also be forfeited upon conviction.
To enquire about the control of endangered species or to report suspected irregularities, the public can call the AFCD on 1823 or visit the website www.cites.hk.