Malaysia destroys seized ivory worth $20m
Updated: 2016-04-14 17:30
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian government destroyed illegal-traded ivory worth some $20 million on Thursday, in the first such public event to showcase its commitment in combating illegal wildlife trade.
Malaysian authorities have confiscated more than four thousand pieces of ivory and various other wildlife species through coordinated efforts of international enforcement network and public information, said Minister of natural resources and environment Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
A total of 9.55 tons of ivory were destroyed on Thursday, with the estimated value of 20.05 million US dollars. The authorities said the disposal of confiscated ivory through crushing and incineration is the best way to keep the ivory out of illegal market.
Wan Junaidi admitted that Malaysia had been exploited as a handy transit point for illegal wildlife trade.
"We are blessed with our strategic location and well-developed facilities to support international trade and logistic demand," he said, "However, these blessings also benefited the illegal wildlife traders as excellent point of entry, transfer and exit of the illegal wildlife products."
Wan Junaidi stressed that his country strongly support the efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade and were serious in curbing illegal wildlife trafficking, especially the trade in ivory.
Meanwhile, Malaysia has conducted forensic sampling on several large scale seizures since 2014 to identify the origin of the ivory, in a bid to address the entire crime chain.
Malaysia is a party of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1978, and the country has enacted and enforced its own laws to meet its obligations under the convention.