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posted: 7/17/2012 9:07 AM

Thais seize half ton of ivory smuggled from Kenya

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  • A Thai customs official takes a close look at an ivory during a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, July 17, 2012. 158 pieces of African ivory were seized last week while an attempt to smuggle into the country.

      A Thai customs official takes a close look at an ivory during a news conference in Bangkok, Thailand Tuesday, July 17, 2012. 158 pieces of African ivory were seized last week while an attempt to smuggle into the country.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

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

The ivory was discovered Friday hidden in crates aboard a flight from Kenya. Customs officials displayed the 1,000-pound haul on Tuesday. One official estimated that the 158 pieces of ivory were from the tusks of around 50 elephants.

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The officials said they acted on a tipoff to seize the ivory, which was in six crates labeled as handicrafts. No arrests have been made.

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 in 1989 to prevent the poaching of elephants.

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