Malaysia seizes 400 kilograms of pangolin scales from Ghana

pangolin scalesRoyal Malaysian Customs (RMC) Department officials show pangolin scales recently seized at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), during a press conference in Sepang, Malaysia on Friday, June 16, 2017. Malaysian Customs seized a total of 393.50 kg of pangolin scales from Ghana in 16 boxes worth 5 million Malaysian ringgit. (1.17 million US dollar) (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)

Malaysian customs officials say they have seized nearly 400 kilograms (880 pounds) of pangolin scales worth 5 million ringgit ($1.2 million) from Ghana.

The seizure brings the total amount of confiscated pangolin scales to more than one ton in two months.

Kuala Lumpur airport customs director Hamzah Sundang said officials found the scales in 16 boxes labeled oyster shells at the airport cargo warehouse on Thursday based on a tip. He said Friday the boxes arrived from Ghana.

Pangolin scales are used in traditional medicine in parts of Asia.

Custom officials also have seized 18 rhino horns and 330 exotic tortoises at the airport warehouse since May.

Wildlife trade monitoring group TRAFFIC has expressed concern that the seizures indicate traffickers feel they can routinely move their contraband through Malaysia.

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