ENVIRONMENT

Uganda seizes ton of ivory, arrests 2 West African suspects

Ugandan wildlife activist Abiaz Rwamwiri holds some of the seized ivory, as it was displayed at the central police station in Kampala, Uganda Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Ugandan authorities seized a ton of illegal ivory and arrested three West Africans they believe were plotting to ship it abroad, an official said Saturday. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)

Ugandan wildlife activist Abiaz Rwamwiri holds some of the seized ivory, as it was displayed at the central police station in Kampala, Uganda Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. Ugandan authorities seized a ton of illegal ivory and arrested three West Africans they believe were plotting to ship it abroad, an official said Saturday. (AP Photo/Stephen Wandera)  (The Associated Press)

Ugandan authorities have seized a ton of illegal ivory and arrested three West Africans they believe were plotting to ship it abroad.

Gessa Simplicious, a spokesman for the Uganda Wildlife Authority, says the seizure happened late Friday at an "opulent, expansive house" in a suburb of the capital, Kampala.

He says a Liberian and two Guinea-Bissau nationals were arrested for possessing the ivory.

He says the ivory likely had been imported from neighboring countries such as Tanzania and Congo because it had markings not familiar to Ugandan authorities.

Uganda has about 5,600 elephants still left the wild.

African governments are struggling to curb the illegal trade in ivory, which is treasured as a status symbol in China.

China plans to shut down its ivory trade by the end of 2017.