Customs officials yesterday intercepted what they say is the biggest elephant tusk ever seized at Taipei Taoyuan International Airport.
A Taiwanese man surnamed Chen attempted to enter the country with the tusk after purchasing it in Beijing. Mr Chen claims that he paid 200,000RMB (NTD930,000) for the tusk.
Customs officers measured the tusk at 116 centimeters in length, and 11 centimeters in diameter at the base. The tusk weighs 10.22 kilograms.
Mr Chen arrived on a flight from Beijing at 5:30pm, Monday, January 9, and was stopped after customs x-rayed the wooden box in which the tusk was packed. Mr Chen claims that customs officials in China told him he would be allowed to enter Taiwan with the tusk.
Customs officials said trying to enter the country with the ivory constituted a violation of the wildlife protection act.