Smuggled animal products worth US$50 million seized in Singapore

Seized tusks taken from 300 elephants weighed 8.8 tons, while pangolin scales weighed in at 11.9 tons

Pangolin (Source: Wikicommons - Dushy Ranetunge)

Pangolin (Source: Wikicommons - Dushy Ranetunge)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Singapore seized a record amount of smuggled tusks worth US$12.9 million (NT$400 million), and pangolin scales worth up to US$37.5 million, on Sunday (July 21), the Liberty Times reports.

National Park Board (NParks) and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) of Singapore issued a joint statement on Tuesday (July 23), stating they found a bag of scales in a lumber container from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the third time this month that smuggled animal products have been found.

The pangolin scales weighed 11.9 tons and were believed to have been taken from 2,000 giant ground pangolin (Smutsia gigantea), a species commonly found in West Africa. The elephant tusks weighed 8.8 tons and were believed to have been taken from 300 elephants, a record haul for the ICA.

The Singaporean government said 37.5 tons of pangolin scales have been seized by customs since April. The two items are the most commonly smuggled endangered animal products.