Saturday, November 8, 2014

China Charged with High Level Illegal Ivory Smuggling

The London-based non-governmental organization Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) published a report on 6 November 2014 titled "Vanishing Point - Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania's Elephants."  The 36 page report notes that although China is the primary destination for ivory, countries such as Thailand, Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia are also involved.

The report alleged that a visit to Dar es Salaam in December 2013 by a PLA Navy task force resulted in a major surge in business for illegal ivory traders.  The EIA added that a visit to Tanzania in March 2013 by a Chinese delegation led by President Xi Jinping created a boom in illegal ivory sales and caused local prices to double.  EIA charged that leaders of Tanzania's ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party protect the ivory traffickers.

The Washington Post did an article on this issue on 6 November 2014 titled "Chinese Officials Accused of Smuggling Ivory During State Visit to Tanzania" by Simon Denyer.  Both Tanzanian and Chinese officials denied the allegations in the EIA report in an article published on 7 November 2014 by the Voice of America titled "Tanzania Denies Chinese Officials Smuggled Ivory" by Megan Duzor.

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