Dubai airport in drive to stop illegal ivory trade
Dubai, June 6, 2014
Dubai International Airport’s authorities have seized 1,500 ivory products and tusks in the last three years, said a report.
Some tusks were over two metres long, a Dubai Police office reported, as part of a campaign to raise awareness about illegal ivory trade among transit passengers, said the Gulf News report.
The figures were revealed as part of a 20-day campaign, which began on this week, to create awareness about the illegality of carrying and smuggling ivory. It said.
The campaign, organised by the Dubai Police, Dubai Airports Authority, the Ministry of Environment and Water and the International Fund for Animal Welfare, aims at reaching at least a million passengers from the millions that transit through the Dubai airport every year.
It will consist of public service announcements that will be displayed on screens at Dubai Airports’ Terminal 1 or 3, which will be in English, Arabic and Chinese.
The illegal global trade of wildlife and animal parts, valued at $19 billion annually, is considered the fourth largest illegal trade in the world, Ganem Al Shamsi, assistant under-secretary for External Awareness at the Ministry of Water and Environment, was quoted as saying.
According to the UAE law, ivory smugglers or anyone caught smuggling endangered animals or any of their parts face fines up to Dh50,000 ($13,610) or a jail term that can reach up to six months or what the judge orders depending on the case.
The ivory is smuggled from Africa to Asia and the two main destinations are China and Thailand, added the report.