Elephant tusks, rhino horns, and pangolin scales were among the exotic animal parts found in a stockpile worth $18 million that Malaysian customs officials said they confiscated on Monday.
The country in Southeast Asia serves as a transit point for wildlife traffickers who transport animal parts to lucrative regional markets.
A smuggling effort was thwarted on July 10 when authorities at Port Klang, Malaysia’s west coast, discovered the illegal cargo concealed in a container containing wood.
According to Malaysia’s customs department chief Zazuli Johan, the consignment contained over 6,000 kilograms (13,200 pounds) of elephant tusks, making it the country’s largest-ever single seizure of elephant ivory.
He also revealed during a news conference that there were 300 kilograms of animal bones and skulls, 100 kilograms of pangolin scales, and 29 kilograms of rhino horns.
He stated that the haul had an estimated worth of 80 million ringgit ($18 million) and that it was thought to have originated in Africa without providing any other information.
The consignment was not intended for Malaysia, according to Zazula, who did not specify where it was going.
Elephant tusks and pangolin scales are two examples of animal parts that are often employed in traditional Chinese and Vietnamese medicine.
Regarding the seizure, there have been no arrests.
Wildlife trade watchdog Traffic’s Southeast Asia director, Kanitha Krishnasamy, praised the “major seizure.”
“This collection of endangered species in one capture is alarming, and it confirms the notion that wildlife traffickers continue to exploit Malaysian ports,” she said.