馬來西亞扣押非法象牙:兩個禮拜內3,194根象牙 | 環境資訊中心

馬來西亞扣押非法象牙:兩個禮拜內3,194根象牙

2011年09月16日
摘譯自2011年9月6日ENS馬來西亞,吉隆坡報導;李家寧編譯;蔡麗伶審校

Datuk Zainul檢視著2日在馬來西亞抓到的走私象牙。圖片來自:Traffic。馬來西亞海關9月2日在雪蘭莪省(Selangor)巴生港(Port Klang)沒收將近700根裝在寫著「可回收塑膠品」麻布袋裡的象牙。

馬來西亞皇家海關署(Royal Malaysia Customs Department)執行專門委員Datuk Zainul Abidin Taib在新聞發布會上表示:「雪蘭莪海關署官員照著檳城(Penang)海關署所給的情報抓到這些走私象牙。」

695根象牙總重大約2,000公斤(2公噸)。Zainul表示:「象牙原本是要從非洲坦桑尼亞(Tanzania)運往中國的。這些象牙和8月19號在檳城發現的另一批走私象牙的包裝和掩蓋手法是一樣的。這暗示著這兩起走私案件可能是同一個走私集團所為。」

在檳城發現的走私象牙是藏在從阿拉伯聯合大公國(United Arab Emirates)來的貨櫃裡。這些宣稱是「使用過的塑膠品」重1.5噸,是在馬來西亞西北部的北海(Butterworth)港發現。

7月8日,野生動物和國家公園局(Wildlife and National Parks Department )和海關署在柔佛(Johor)省最南端的巴西古丹港(Pasir Gudang)抓到宣稱是放夾板(plywood),事實上卻是有405根非洲象牙的貨櫃。

Zainul說:「至今仍沒有任何的逮捕行動,但是所有走私案件的調查會繼續下去。」

馬來西亞港口每年會有幾百萬個貨櫃,要檢查所有的貨櫃是不可能的,只有那些透過情報顯示可疑的貨櫃才會被檢查。

Zainul:「如果沒有大眾所提供的情報,最近幾起的走私扣押是不可能完成的。」並告訴國際野生動物貿易研究組織-東南亞分支(TRAFFIC-Southest Asia):「我們希望大眾可以繼續和海關署合作並且適時地提供情報。」

國際野生動物貿易研究組織-東南亞分支區域執行長William Schaedla博士表示:「這陣子在馬來西亞連續的大型象牙走私扣押行動令人振奮也令人失望。」

Schaedla:「令人振奮的是因為這表示國家當局可以且將會對這個問題採取行動;令人失望是因為這很清楚的證實TRAFFIC曾經說過 ╴馬來西亞是非法象牙走私的最大中繼站。」

Schaedla對海關署成功扣押走私品表示恭喜,也督促其繼續保持在馬來西亞和附近區域的警戒。

Schaedla表示:「非法野生生物走私是變化多端的。現在象牙走私者已經被發現利用馬來西亞的港口,他們可能移動到其他港口以繼續保持他們黑市生意的活絡。」

八月在香港被扣押的象牙。圖片來自:香港海關。在星期五扣押的象牙是14天裡第四起直接和馬來西亞有相關的走私案;馬來西亞、香港和坦桑尼亞的海關署在四起走私案中共扣押了3,194根的象牙。

  • 在8月19號,從坦桑尼亞運往中國的貨船在馬來西亞被扣押664根的象牙。
  • 8月23號,運往馬來西亞的1,041根象牙在桑給巴爾(Zanzibar)的坦桑尼亞島(Tanzanian island)被扣押。兩名嫌疑犯在進行中的調查被審問。
  • 香港海關署在上個禮拜抓到來自馬來西亞並載有794根非洲象牙的貨船。一位嫌疑犯被逮捕而調查仍在進行中。
  • 9月2號,馬來西亞海關署抓到從坦桑尼亞出發前往中國的貨船載有695根象牙。

7月8號第五起在巴西古丹港被扣押的405根象牙使得在過去兩個月裡和馬來西亞有關的走私象牙數量增加到3,599根,這代表有1,800隻的大象因為他們的象牙而被殺。

8月份在桑給巴爾的桑坦尼港口扣押的的部分走私象牙。圖片來自;TRAFFIC。在過去兩個禮拜被抓到的四艘貨船裡有兩艘是從坦桑尼亞的三蘭港(Dar-Es Salaam)出發,三蘭港在最近大象貿易資訊系統(Elephant Trade Information System)的報告中被特別強調,是走私象牙到亞洲市場最重要的出口港之一。大象貿易資訊系統是世界上最大的象牙扣押案件的資料庫。

國際愛護動物基金會(The International Fund for Animal Welfare )讚揚馬來西亞和其他國家海關署查獲走私的成績,但是也警告這些國家,只要中國象牙價格持續高於1970和80年代非法獵捕大象時的象牙價格,非法象牙的氾濫將會持續下去。

IFAW的野生生物貿易的計劃執行長 Kelvin Alie表示:「看著過去幾個禮拜裡被扣押的數千根象牙,我們必須馬上問問自己到底有多少的走私象牙沒有被查獲?」

Alie表示:「馬來西亞很明顯的是象牙貿易主要的運輸點,但是還有數個其他的運輸點像是新加坡或是越南。非洲的國土會因為非法獵捕大象而遭到破壞,而原因在於中國對於象牙貪婪的需求。最後,對於國際象牙貿易我們必須有完整的禁令來試著並阻止大象數量的減少。」

1989年頻臨絕種野生動植物國際貿易公約組織( Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES)停止非洲象牙的合法貿易。自從那時候起,只有兩起合法的象牙銷售是被允許的,這些象牙是來自自然死亡的大象,但是保育專家表示合法的象牙銷售卻被用來遮掩非法的象牙貿易,自從最近一次2009年的合法銷售之後非法貿易開始激增。

根據媒體報導,每個月有50,000到100,000個貨櫃進入馬來西亞的港口,而其中只有一些被情報機關或是情報系統挑出來的貨櫃才會被檢查。常常走私毒品、武器或是其他非法物品的國際犯罪集團被發現也參與走私象牙並且因為國際上缺乏妥善協調而使得犯罪集團可以從中獲利。Alie表示:「IFAW已經開始資助「Interpol's Ecomessage award」鼓勵國際合作來處理這個惡毒、價值幾百億歐元且破壞我們生態的商業活動。」

Interpol's Ecomessage award 是用來表揚那些對於交換國際環境罪犯資訊不餘遺力的國家和城市。2010年波札那(Botswana)和波蘭(Poland)因為所提供情報的價值和不間斷的提供相關資訊而被授予這個獎項。

Malaysia Seizes More Illegal Tusks, 3,194 Nabbed in Two Weeks
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, September 6, 2011 (ENS)

Nearly 700 elephant tusks stuffed in gunny sacks and marked "recycled craft plastic" were confiscated Friday by Malaysian Customs officials at Port Klang in the state of Selangor.

Officials of the Selangor Customs Department seized the shipment following a tip from their Penang counterparts, said Datuk Zainul Abidin Taib, Royal Malaysia Customs Department assistant director-general of enforcement, at a news conference.

The 695 tusks seized weighed about 2,000 kilograms (two metric tonnes). The shipment originated in Tanzania and was destined for China, said Zainul.

The tusks were packed and hidden in the same manner as another shipment of tusks seized August 19 in Penang, he said, suggesting that the same smuggling syndicate was responsible in both cases.

The 664 African elephant tusks seized in Penang were hidden in a container from the United Arab Emirates. The 1.5 tonne seizure, declared as "used plastics," was made at the Butterworth Port, in the northwest of peninsular Malaysia.

In an earlier seizure on July 8, the Wildlife and National Parks Department and Customs Department seized a container of 405 African elephant tusks declared as plywood at the Malaysia's Pasir Gudang Port, in the southernmost state of Johor.

To date, no arrests have been made, but Zainul said investigations into all cases will continue.

Because Malaysian ports handle millions of containers each year, inspection of them all is impossible and only those identified by a tip are examined.

Commenting on the latest seizure, Zainul said it would not have been possible without information from the public. "We hope the public will continue to co-operate with Customs and provide us with timely information," he told the Southeast Asia branch of TRAFFIC, the international wildlife traffic monitoring organization.

"This latest in a series of major ivory seizures in Malaysia is both heartening and disappointing," said TRAFFIC Southeast Asia Regional Director Dr. William Schaedla.

"It's heartening because it shows that the country's authorities can and will take action on the problem," said Schaedla. "It's disappointing because it clearly validates what TRAFFIC has been saying for some time now - Malaysia is a major transshipping country for illegal ivory."

Schaedla congratulated the Customs Department on the successful seizures and urged continued vigilance in Malaysia and across the region.

"Illegal wildlife trade is fluid," he said. "Now that the ivory traffickers have been caught out using some of Malaysia's ports they are likely to move through others in an effort to keep their black market business alive."

Friday's ivory seizure was the fourth in 14 days directly linked to Malaysia; Customs officials in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Tanzania have confiscated a total of 3,194 elephant tusks in the four seizures.

  • On August 19, a China-bound shipment from Tanzania was seized in Malaysia with 664 elephant tusks.
  • On August 23, 1041 elephant tusks bound for Malaysia were seized on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. Two suspects were interrogated in the ongoing investigation.
  • Last week, officials in Hong Kong seized 794 African elephant tusks on a shipment from Malaysia. A suspect was arrested and the investigation is ongoing.
  • On September 2, officials in Malaysia seized 695 elephant tusks shipped in from Tanzania, bound for China.

A fifth seizure of 405 tusks on July 8 at Pasir Gudang Port brings to 3,599 the total of tusks confiscated over the past two months linked to Malaysia - representing an estimated 1,800 elephants killed for their ivory.

Two of the four shipments seized in the past two weeks originated in the Tanzanian port of Dar-Es Salaam, which was highlighted in a recent report by the Elephant Trade Information System, the world's largest database on ivory seizures, as one of "the most prominent ports of exit for ivory moving to Asian markets."

The International Fund for Animal Welfare applauded the achievements of the Malaysian and other Customs authorities but warned that the flow of illegal ivory will continue as long as prices for ivory in China remain above those seen during the elephant poaching crises of the 1970s and '80s.

"Looking at the thousands of elephant tusks seized in the last couple of weeks we must immediately ask ourselves how many tusks are slipping through the net?" said Kelvin Alie, IFAW's program director for wildlife trade.

"It seems clear that Malaysia has become a major transit point in the ivory trade but there are numerous other transit points such as Singapore or Vietnam that link the African range states being devastated by poaching with the seemingly insatiable demand of China," Alie said.

"In the end we must have a complete ban on international ivory trade to try and stop the losses amongst our elephant populations," he said.

In 1989, legal trade in African elephant ivory was halted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES. Two legal sales of stockpiled ivory from elephants that died of natural causes have been allowed since then, but conservationists say the legal sales have masked illegal trading, which has skyrocketed since the last legal sale in 2009.

According to media reports between 50,000 to 100,000 containers enter Malaysia's ports every month and only those which are singled out via intelligence or tip-offs are inspected. International criminal syndicates, who often smuggle drugs, arms and other illegal goods, are known to be heavily involved in the trafficking of ivory and benefit from a lack of international coordination.

"IFAW has funded Interpol's Ecomessage award to encourage international cooperation in tackling this nefarious and multimillion-euro business that is devastating our ecosystem," said Alie.

The Interpol Ecomessage award is presented to the country or countries that have contributed the most to the international exchange of intelligence relating to environmental criminals. Botswana and Poland were recognized in 2010 for the value of their information and their consistency in submitting ecomessages.

作者

蔡麗伶(LiLing Barricman)

In my healing journey and learning to attain the breath awareness, I become aware of the reality that all the creatures of the world are breathing the same breath. Take action, here and now. From my physical being to the every corner of this out of balance's planet.