KLIA Customs seize 36kg of smuggled ivory tusks and detain Vietnamese national

SEPANG: The KL International Airport (KLIA) Customs Department seized 36kg of smuggled ivory tusks and detained a Vietnamese national last Friday.

KLIA Customs director Datuk Hamzah Sundang said the haul was discovered when three bags containing 10 packets of ivory was found hidden in each bag.

"A 44-year-old Vietnamese man was detained at the KLIA arrival terminal about 10.30pm after his baggage went through scanner inspection and the image produced raised the officer's suspicions.

"We managed to intercept the smuggling attempts into our country based on surveillance and intelligence," he said in a press conference today.

Upon inspection, the tusks were found wrapped and hidden in the bag.

"We believe the suspects with the RM300,000 worth of tusks were traveling from Addis Ababa through Ethiopian Airlines where the suspect has three travel records to Malaysia," he added.

Hamzah said he believes the ivory was to be processed locally.

The suspect has been remanded for 14 days starting July 15 and the case is being investigated under Section 135(1)(d) of the Customs Act 1967.

Ivory is a prohibited item under the International Trade in Endangered Species Act 2008 and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and a permit is required to import such items.