Thailand seizes 87 African ivory tusks worth $800,000

Officials in Thailand say they seized 315 kilograms (695 pounds) of African elephant tusks worth an estimated $800,000 at Bangkok's international airport.

Kulit Sombatsiri, director-general of the Thai Customs Department, said Tuesday that the haul of 87 ivory tusks was found March 27 in a dozen barrels sent from Mozambique on a Kenya Airways flight. A routine X-ray at Suvarnabhumi International Airport detected the contraband.

Kulit said a Kenyan man was due to pick up the parcels, but is believed to have fled the country after learning they were seized.

Kulit told reporters that Thai authorities alerted Kenyan officials, who discovered 561 kilograms (1,237 pounds) of ivory tusks waiting to be shipped to the same man.

He said it was the fifth African ivory seizure this year in Thailand.