Jump in illegal ivory imports linked to Chinese smugglers

Illegal ivory imports have soared in the past decade, as Chinese-run smuggling rings expand their reach in Africa, according to a report published on Thursday.
Traffic International, a wildlife trade watchdog based in the UK, appealed to the Chinese government to help control the problem.

"It is imperative that China reaches out to the growing Chinese communities in Africa with a clear message that involvement in illegal ivory trade will not be tolerated," said Tom Milliken, director of the group’s Africa program.

Markets in China are driving the demand for illicit ivory, which arrives either directly or through Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Japan and Thailand are also important final destinations, and the Philippines is a key transit country.
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photo by  Pipistrula