Dubai Airport security efforts continue to combat ivory trafficking

In early January, 2015, Dubai Airport security invited IFAW’s Middle East Regional Office to participate in delivering over 1,500 pieces of confiscated elephant ivory to the Ministry of Environment in the United Arab Emirates.

The confiscated ivory consisted of 16 pieces of raw ivory with the rest being carved ivory in the form of beads, bracelets, necklace pendants and hanko seals.

The confiscated ivory consisted of 16 pieces of raw ivory with the rest being carved ivory in the form of beads, bracelets, necklace pendants and hanko seals.

The ivory had been seized in two confiscation incidents in the transit area at Dubai Airport

The first confiscation took place in September 2014 when officials checked the hand luggage of two Vietnamese nationals travelling from Angola to Vietnam. X-rays of their hand luggage found them to contain 86 kilograms of raw ivory.

The second confiscation took place just a few days later, when officials checked the hand luggage of a Chinese national travelling from South Africa to Hong Kong.

An x-ray of his hand luggage, found he was carrying 16 kilograms of raw and carved ivory.

The amount of ivory and these recent seizures allow us to notice the following:

  • Those apprehended are not only carrying carved ivory, but ivory to be carved.
  • That the route of ivory trafficking from Africa to the Far East through Dubai includes Southern and South Western Africa and not only East African countries.   
  • That there is an increase in confiscations of personal ivory.
  • Since 2012, there have no big raw ivory shipments confiscated in Dubai. Only personal carved ivory is being confiscated but in bigger amounts than usual. We believe this to indicate that open carved ivory markets in Africa need to be tackled to assist in alleviating the elephant poaching crisis.
  • There is a need for X-ray machines to be installed at the airports of exporting countries airports and to ensure they are effectively used for checking passenger’s hand luggage as well as their other luggage to go in the aircraft hold.

Officials from Dubai Airport security and the UAE Ministry of the Environment with confiscated ivory.

In the last 12 months, Dubai Airport authorities have delivered the following amounts of ivory confiscated by them to the Ministry of Environment. 

Date of seizure

Amount / piece

January 2015

1566

September 2014

703

May 2014

301

April 2014

75

March 2014

36

 
IFAW salutes the detective work and vigilant approach by the Dubai Airport security which so ably help to disrupt the trafficking of ivory.
 
--EM
 
For more information about IFAW efforts to disrupt wildlife trafficking around the world, visit our campaign page.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Dr. Maria (Masha) N. Vorontsova, Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation
Senior Advisor to the IFAW Marine Conservation Program
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Matt Collis, Director, International Policy
Director, International Policy
Pauline Verheij, Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Program Manager, Wildlife Crime
Peter LaFontaine, Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Campaigns Manager, IFAW Washington, D.C.
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Country Representative, Germany
Country Representative, Germany
Staci McLennan, Director, EU Office
Director, EU Office
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy