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Thai officials seize half ton of ivory from Kenya

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 9:46 p.m. HST, Jul 16, 2012

BANGKOK >> Thai customs officials have seized half a ton of ivory at Bangkok’s international airport.

The elephant tusks were discovered Friday hidden in crates aboard a flight from Kenya. Customs officials displayed the 1,000-pound haul Tuesday.

The officials said they acted on a tip-off to seize the ivory, which was in six crates labeled as handicrafts. No arrests have been made. The seized ivory probably will be destroyed.

Ivory shipped to Thailand typically is used to make Buddhist carvings or jewelry. Thailand is also a transit point for other markets, including China.

The international trade in ivory was banned by an international convention known as CITES in 1989 as a measure to prevent the poaching of elephants, which has taken a huge toll on their numbers globally in recent decades.

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