Singapore seizes 12.7 tonnes of pangolin scales, second haul in a week
Total of $104m worth of scales seized in less than a week
Last week, 12.9 tonnes of pangolin scales worth $52.3 million were found by the authorities at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station.
In a joint media release yesterday, the National Parks Board, Singapore Customs and the Immigration and Checkpoint Authority said they another seized 12.7 tonnes of pangolin scales worth $51.6 million on Monday afternoon.
They were found in a 40-foot (12m) container, which had been checked at the Pasir Panjang Export Inspection Station.
Last week's haul came from an estimated 17,000 pangolins.
In Monday's seizure, an estimated 21,000 white-bellied tree and giant ground pangolins were killed. Both species are native to Africa and are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.
These two species were among the four whose scales were found in last week's operation. Monday's container was declared to have contained cassia seeds and was en route from Nigeria to Vietnam.
Using a risk assessment framework and information received from international agencies, the authorities inspected the container and found the scales in 474 bags.
Last week's shipment was also on its way from Nigeria to Vietnam. Besides pangolin scales, the authorities also found 177kg of cut and carved elephant ivory in the container that was declared to contain frozen beef.
There has been a rise in the smuggling of pangolin in recent years, due to the high demand for its scales for use in traditional Chinese medicine.
Pangolin meat is considered a delicacy in some countries.
Singapore is a signatory of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
It placed pangolins on its priority list last year because of its status as the world's most trafficked mammal.
Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, anyone involved in the illegal import, export and re-export of wildlife can be fined up to $500,000 and jailed up to two years. The same penalties apply to transit or transhipment of illegal wildlife species, including their parts and derivatives.