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Portuguese Seize Smuggled Ivory

February 23, 2000

LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Portuguese customs officials seized around 375 pounds of ivory, including 24 elephant tusks and seven statues, that were smuggled from Angola, officials said Wednesday.

The cargo, which also included tiger and jaguar hides and a turtle shell, was confiscated Tuesday in the northern port of Leixoes during an inspection of a ship container that was said to hold clothes, china and furniture, customs director Valdemar Madureira said.

He said the goods were illegally imported by an Angolan student living in Portugal, who is expected to be charged under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species .

It was not immediately clear how much the ivory was worth.

A worldwide ban on sale and export of ivory was eased in 1997. Penalties for violators vary significantly from country to country.

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