Officials in Thailand have announced the seizure of 87 elephant tusks, weighing 315 kilogrammes, sent from Mozambique via Kenya.

According to international media reports, the ivory, worth an estimated 800,000 US dollars, arrived at Bangkok International Airport on March 27.

The director-general of the Thai Customs Department, Kulit Sombatsiri, told the media earlier this week that the 87 tusks were packed into a dozen barrels which originated in Mozambique. The ivory was detected through a routine scan of the barrels at Bangkok airport.

Kulit said a Kenyan national was due to pick up the ivory, but is believed to have fled the country after learning the tusks had been seized.

Kulit told journalists that the Thai authorities alerted Kenyan officials, who discovered a further 561 kg of ivory in Nairobi waiting to be shipped to the same man.

On March 29, two days after the Bangkok seizure, the Kenyan authorities announced that they had apprehended a cargo of 18 pieces of raw ivory, originating in Mozambique and on its way to Thailand. This cargo, valued at about 63,000 US dollars, may be part of the 561 kg mentioned by Kulit.

Source: NNN-AIM