Dubai police intercept half a ton of smuggled ivory

The haul was described by police as one of the largest found in the emirate.

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DUBAI // Police have intercepted a shipment of over half a ton of ivory.

Found at Dubai International Airport, the haul was described by police as being one of the largest found in the emirate.

The announcement was made via Dubai Police's official Twitter account on Wednesday, although no details on how the shipment was detected were provided.

Dubai is seen as a transit point for the trade in endangered animals and their body parts, and ivory is among the most-seized items by customs officers at Dubai International Airport.

The illegal trade in ivory results in the deaths of thousands of elephants every year.

Up to 50,000 elephants are slaughtered each year by poachers to meet the soaring demand for ivory, according to estimations from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (Ifaw).

One kilogram of ivory can be sold for around US$1,000 (Dh3672) on the black market.

Last November, Dubai Customs seized a haul worth Dh15 million.

Coming into the UAE via Jebel Ali Port, the shipment of 215 tusks came from 108 African elephants and was hidden in 40 boxes containing beans.

In May this year a campaign to battle the illegal trade of ivory was launched at Dubai International Airport by Dubai Police. Advertisements warning passengers that ivory smuggling leads to prosecution were shown on video screens.