Malaysia customs officials have seized smuggled ivory products worth $70,000. It comes as the country tries to pull away from its image as a global transit point for the illicit ivory trade. Kate King reports.
It may not look like much chopped up, but this is 70-thousand dollars worth of elephant Ivory. Malaysian customs allege it was being smuggled into the country by a 44-year-old Vietnamese man. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Malaysia) KUALA LUMPUR AIRPORT CUSTOMS DIRECTOR HAMZAH SUNDANG SAYING: "The KLIA passenger screening division conducted intelligence and monitoring and this resulted in the arrest of a man at the arrivals hall of the KLIA main terminal." The suspect arrived via an Ethiopian Airlines flight from the capital Addis Ababa. Malaysia is considered a global transit point for the wildlife smuggling trade. 9 million dollars worth of ivory tusks were seized by Hong Kong officials earlier this year - They were hidden in a 40-foot cargo container from Malaysia - declared to hold frozen fish. Elephant numbers fell 30 percent between 2007 and 2014, with illegal poaching thought to be the primary reason for the decline. Activists say this haul was likely destined to be fashioned into jewelery. Now, it will only be an accessory for a crime punishable by three years in jail.