The seizures took place during an operation against an international criminal gang that smuggles ivory. Namely, China, the world’s largest importer and end user of elephant tusks, banned ivory sales in the country in 2017.

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Specifically, since January, China has captured a total of 8.48 tonnes of ivory and ivory products and over 500 tonnes of endangered species.

This seizure forms part of a series of captures, from rhino horns to pangolin scales, in Hong Kong, Singapore and Vietnam in the last months.

However, demand for ivory from Asian countries such as China and Vietnam has caused an increase in poaching across Africa, Reuters report.

What is more, a large proportion of the trade supplies the Chinese medicine industry, with demand for treatments using animal products giving a rise in illegal trafficking of wildlife.

For this reason, environmental groups have called authorities to not only seize the animal products, but also prosecute wildlife criminal networks.