Man jailed for 2 months, fined HKD5,000 for smuggling HKD1 mil. worth of ivory, hornbill and agarwood

A 50-year-old man was sentenced to two months in prison and given a fine of HKD5,000 after he was found guilty of smuggling endangered species. The hearing happened on Wednesday at Tuen Mun Magistrates’ Courts.

On May 19, customs officials at the Shenzhen Bay Control Point found 99 kilos of ivory, seven kilos of hornbill beak and two kilos of agarwood in luggage on a seven-seater car heading to the mainland.

After an Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) investigation, the man was charged for illegally exporting endangered species.

Not unlike elephant ivory, the casque of the helmeted hornbill (an endangered bird species) is used in jewellery and carvings. Also known as “red ivory”, its main market is in China.

Agarwood is used in perfume, traditional medicine, and decorative carvings.

Under the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance, a licence is required to import, export or re-export an endangered species. Any person found guilty of violating the ordinance can be punished with a fine of up to HKD5 million and two years’ imprisonment.

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