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Singapore seizes 1 ton of illegal ivory

SINGAPORE, April 3 (Xinhua) -- Singapore authorities have seized one ton of illegal ivory worth 2 million Singapore dollars (1.6 million U.S. dollars), the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Customs said on Thursday.

It was the third largest shipment of ivory seized by Singapore authorities since 2002.

Officers acting on a tip-off intercepted and detained the shipment of ivory on March 25. It was declared as coffee berries transiting through Singapore from Africa in a container.

The officers detected irregularities in the consignment of goods when the container was scanned at an export inspection station. A total of 106 pieces of illegal raw ivory tusks, weighing about 1 ton, were recovered from 15 wooden crates.

All elephants are endangered species protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and international trade in ivory has been prohibited under the convention since 1989.

Authorities are investigating the case.

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