An illegal 200kg shipment of ivory destined for Malaysia was seized at Zimbabwe’s main airport, an official said.
Security agents from Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority intercepted the shipment on Monday, spokesman Tinashe Farawo said. The ivory was in four boxes at Robert Mugabe International Airport.
Controlled ivory trade is allowed in Zimbabwe, but export is not permitted. Farawo said at current market prices of $2,100 a kg, the ivory was worth $420,000.
“We have made contact with the travel agent involved to identify the owner of the ivory. We are also investigating its origin,” said Farawo. He did not give further details.
Farawo said state security agents had in the past arrested people trying to smuggle ivory through airports, this was one of the largest interceptions they had made.
Zimbabwe and Namibia failed last year in October to convince a UN body they should be allowed to export elephant ivory, moves the countries argued would protect rather than endanger the animals.