Dubai: Dubai Customs foiled an attempt to smuggle into the country a large quantity of ivory hidden in 40 boxes containing green beans.
The customs authorities put the market value of the 215 pieces of fine ivory seized at the Jebel Ali Port at around Dh15 million.
The consignment which originated in an African country aroused the suspicion of customs officials who sent the containers for scans and uncovered the contraband. The inspectors later manually searched the boxes and recovered tusks of 108 elephants killed by poachers.
Poaching has caused a decline in the number of African elephants from millions to a few hundred thousand in the past decades.