CAIRO: Customs authorities at Cairo International Airport foiled an attempt to smuggle 52 kilograms of raw ivory valued at more than $280,000, Youm7 reported Friday.
Painted in black for camouflage, the 23 pieces were found inside the suitcases of a Libyan passenger arriving on a plane from Tobruk Airport, airport sources told Youm7.
It is an unusual case due to the huge amount of ivory seized, the source said, adding “Customs officers suspected one passenger and when the police put the woman’s luggage bags through an X-ray scanner, they found the pieces hidden inside.”
In 1989, trade in ivory was banned after the population of African elephants dropped from millions in the mid-20th century to just 600,000 by the end of the 1980s, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature which listed African elephants as “vulnerable.”
The passenger was referred to for investigation while the ivory pieces were confiscated, said the source.