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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Malaysia seizes hundreds of elephant tusks worth $1.3M from Kenya en route to Cambodia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Malaysian authorities have seized hundreds of African elephant tusks worth 4 million ringgit ($1.3 million) that were being shipped to Cambodia.

Customs official Azis Yacub says inspectors at Port Klang harbor found the tusks hidden in containers of handicrafts from Kenya’s Mombasa port. The shipment was headed for Cambodia’s beach resort area of Sihanoukville.

Officials said Tuesday they had no precise figure for the number of tusks, which weighed nearly two tons.

The seizure followed a tip-off Monday. No arrests have been made.

Malaysia has stepped up inspections for illegal ivory after wildlife groups said the country was becoming a transit hub for tusks amid robust demand in China.

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