Trade in African elephant ivory is not encouraged in the United States. There is an almost total ban on the product and trade in such products has to abide by the international treaty. Police arrested two persons outside of Seattle. They belonged to the Democratic Republic of Congo and were involved in trade of ivory and white rhinoceros horn to the United States. The arrest occurred last week. Federal prosecutors revealed they had plans to send more such items. Those who associate with such activities usually do it for financial gains.

Both men are in their 20s and 30s.

The charges against them are smuggling, money laundering, and Lacey Act violations. The last one is for providing incorrect details of the shipments. The Justice Department confirms this. The men tried to camouflage the items to avoid detection. It seems they first cut the elephant ivory and rhino horn into smaller pieces. Once that was done, they applied black paint and kept them among pieces of black wood. In December 2016, China shut down ivory trade that dealt a deathblow to poaching of elephants.

Trade in ivory and rhino horn depletes the number of animals

There is an illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. Poachers kill the animals and remove the tusk of elephants and horn of rhinos.

This leads to a decline in their numbers. People travel from far off places to enjoy rides on the pachyderms through the jungles. However, groups of unscrupulous people are involved in killing them for their tusks. Two of them are in police custody in Seattle. NBC News says these men apparently paid bribes to officials in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They made arrangements to ship the materials out of the country. It was a large consignment and the destination was the United States.

Pangolin scales also there along with ivory and rhino horn

NBC News mentions about the involvement of an intermediary. He used online profiles to connect buyers. Undercover U.S. agents are conducting the inquiry.

The Justice Department confirms: "The investigation is ongoing." It seems a task force in the Democratic Republic of Congo seized large amounts of ivory along with pangolin scales in Kinshasa. White rhino horn were also on offer. There is a demand for these items in some parts of the world and unscrupulous elements take advantage of this to line their pockets. The World Wildlife Fund has classified these animals as "near threatened." The value of seizure is around $3.5 million. The U.S. arrested two men in this connection and they have pleaded not guilty.

Alleged smuggling of elephant ivory and rhino horns

A federal grand jury indicted a couple of foreign nationals from the Democratic Republic of Congo on several charges.

These are conspiracy, money laundering and allegedly smuggling ivory and rhino horns into the country. They were involved in bringing the poached items into Seattle in 2020 and arrested Nov. 2 when they landed up in Edmonds to negotiate further shipments. The Department of Homeland Security reveals this. These shipments violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna. This is an international agreement meant to extend protection to plants and animals threatened with extinction. In the opinion of officials, Washington has been a center for smuggling illegal animal parts. This could be because it is a travel hub on the West Coast and is close to Asia, where demand for items of this nature is high.