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Vietnam seizes nearly half ton of ivory at port

HANOI, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Vietnamese authorities have seized nearly half a ton of ivory smuggled by sea, local media reported on Friday.

The customs and coast guard authorities of the northern city of Hai Phong found a container carrying a total of 117 pieces of ivory tusks, weighing 490 kilograms, mixed with imported farmed cow horns at its Lach Huyen international port on Thursday, Vietnam News Agency reported.

Informed about the arrival of the illegal batch since the beginning of January, the authorities worked together to conduct related verification, bust the case and are further investigating the case, the news agency reported.

Vietnam has banned the trading of elephant tusks since 1992. According to Vietnamese law, individuals who illegally store, transport, trade or advertise ivory of 2 kilograms or more can be sentenced to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to 15 billion Vietnamese dong (633,820 U.S. dollars).