Ivory from African elephants. Photo: iStock

Authorities in Uganda have seized ivory and pangolin scales that were found in shipping containers and arrested two Vietnamese nationals. A total of 750 pieces of ivory and thousands of pangolin scales were found packed inside hollowed-out logs in Kampala, Uganda, AFP reported.

Officers of the Ugandan Revenue Authority (URA) were scanning containers of logs that had entered the country from South Sudan. A team was sent to tail the cargo and they made the bust at a warehouse in Kampala. Two men from Vietnam were arrested as well.

Vincent Seruma, a spokesman from the URA, said the logs were hollowed out and filled with the contraband and sealed with melted wax to hide the items.

Authorities have yet to disclose the full value of the cargo, but it is estimated that at least 325 elephants would have been killed to acquire the ivory. Seruma added that the two men were part of a ring that exploited conflicts in Africa to poach animals. The two Vietnamese were set to be charged with failing to declare prohibited items and the concealment of goods.

The URA also said they believe the two would have bribed their way to their final destination. They would also be investigating the shipping agent and other contractors linked in the case.

Pangolins are often used in traditional Chinese medicine, which makes them very sought-after in countries such as Vietnam and China.

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