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Uganda seized 750 pieces of Ivory and arrested 2 Vietnamese

The Ugandan authorities seized 750 pieces of ivory and thousands of scales pangolines smuggled from the neighboring South Sudan, the revenue agency said in one of the largest seized smuggled goods in the wild in eastern Africa.

Two Vietnamese citizens are in custody for smuggled goods that were hidden in pieces of wood carrying three freight containers, the Uganda Directorate said.

Elephants' tails and pangolin scales were probably collected in neighboring Congo, the government said. Smuggling was detected using a scanner.

Extraction proves that Uganda is "still the main transit point for an illegal animal world," said Christof Titeca, a Belgian researcher who has recently investigated the role of individual retailers in the elephant trade.

African pangolins are under increasing pressure from horseshoes because their scale is used in traditional medicine in some Asian countries.

African elephants threaten the demand for brandy products in China and other Asian countries. In the 1970s, Africa had 1.3 million elephants, but today it has less than 500 000 elephants.

The Ugandan elephant population has been growing over the past few years to more than 5,000, but animals are still faced with a sporadic mischief, sometimes with the help of corrupt wild animal officers.

Experts warn that the elephant population may fall if it does not halt elephant trade.


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