Two transit passengers caught with pieces of elephant tusk in luggage
Dubai: Dubai Airport Security caught two Asian passengers who had 16 pieces of African elephant tusk in their luggage.
Ivory products and trade are banned by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites).
The two travellers were coming from Africa on their way back to their home country through Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3, where security found the ivory in two of their bags.
The two suspects said that they were not aware of the contents of the bags, as they were given the two bags by an African man to deliver to a third party in return for $500 (Dh1,836) per bag.
They told the security that the African man told them there was nothing illegal in the suitcases and that he just needed them delivered as soon as possible as he was not able to travel at that time for personal reasons.
Colonel Saeed Ahmad Sultan Al Muhairi, Acting Director of the General Department of Airport Security at Dubai Police, said that Dubai Police takes such illegal activities very seriously and takes stringent measures to ensure international standards to keep the environment safe.
He added that they work closely with the Ministry of Environment and Water and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to curb this illegal trade.
The UAE is not a destination country for the ivory trade, but due to its central location on the world map, it is a transit hub.
According to the UAE law, ivory smugglers or anyone caught smuggling endangered animals or any of their parts face fines of up to Dh50,000 or a jail term that can reach up to six months or what the judge orders, depending on the case.