Uganda seizes 750 pieces of ivory, arrests 2 Vietnamese

KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan authorities say they have seized 750 pieces of ivory and thousands of pangolin scales being transported through the East African country from neighboring South Sudan.

The Uganda Revenue Authority on Thursday said two Vietnamese nationals are in custody over the contraband, which had been concealed inside pieces of timber carried by three freight containers.

The seizure of illegal wildlife products is one of the largest in Uganda in recent years.

The authority says the ivory and pangolin scales were likely collected in neighboring Congo, where "the racket packed the ivory and scales into well-joined logs of woods."

Africa's elephants are threatened by demand for ivory products in China and other Asian countries. Africa's pangolin species are under increasing pressure from poachers as their scales are used in traditional medicine.