Uganda Seeking to Arrest 18 Vietnamese Over Ivory Trafficking

(Bloomberg) -- Uganda is seeking to arrest 18 Vietnamese nationals over the smuggling of 750 ivory pieces and thousands of pangolin scales seized last week, the nation’s tax agency said.

The Uganda Revenue Authority said it has a reward for information leading to the arrest of the suspects, whose photographs were published in the New Vision newspaper on Friday. Two nationals of the southeast Asian country were arrested when the contraband cargo was intercepted on Jan. 31, according to the agency.

The ivory was concealed in timber logs and could have originated in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it said.

Despite a ban on ivory trade, poaching of African elephants is still rampant, with China being the biggest market for the tusks. There are an estimated 415,000 pachyderms remaining on the continent, from as many as 3-5 million back in the early part of the 20th century, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature.

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