Asia

Thailand seizes 422 pieces of smuggled elephant tusks

  • Thai customs officials display seized ivory during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    Thai customs officials display seized ivory during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thai customs officials measure seized elephant tusks by weight during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    Thai customs officials measure seized elephant tusks by weight during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • Thai customs officials measure seized elephant tusks by weight during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    Thai customs officials measure seized elephant tusks by weight during a press conference at Customs Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok, Thailand, Tuesday, March 7, 2017. Thai authorities seized 330 kilograms (727 pounds) covered with rough stones and transported from Malawi to Thailand.(AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

Thai authorities have seized 422 pieces of elephant tusks and arrested a Gambian man suspected of smuggling the ivory.

Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri said Tuesday the tusks were hidden in a shipment listed as unprocessed gemstones. He said the parcel was examined because items from Malawi are regarded as high-risk for smuggled goods and because an ivory seizure last year had involved tusks from Mozambique that were similarly concealed.

Kulit said Friday's seizure of 330 kilograms (726 pounds) of smuggled ivory worth around $480,000 was the first in Thailand this year. Thai customs officials last year confiscated more than 1,200 kilograms (2,640 pounds) of ivory in nine separate cases.