Vietnam intercepts elephant tusks bound for China
In this Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011 photo, chief museum conservationist Zoko Djowa points to a lone pair of elephant tusks remaining in the main exhibition room at the national museum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. (AP Photo/Emanuel Ekra)
Published Monday, October 24, 2011 7:03AM EDT
HANOI, Vietnam - Vietnamese authorities say they have uncovered more than a ton of elephant tusks that smugglers were attempting to illegally take to China.
Customs official Ly Tran Tuan says the 221 pieces of tusks were discovered Sunday hidden in rolls of fabric that were being transported on a boat on the Ka Long river bordering the two countries.
Tuan said Monday that a Chinese man who was escorting the boat and the Vietnamese captain were detained by local police for further investigation.
Vietnam bans the hunting of its dwindling elephant population. In 2009, authorities confiscated nearly 7 tons of elephant tusks smuggled from Tanzania in the country's biggest ivory seizure.
Tusks are used for ivory jewelry and home decorations.