$25,000 worth of ivory seized by customs at Sea-Tac Airport

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SEATAC, Wash. -- Ivory valued at $25,000 was discovered in a couple's luggage earlier this month at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents found 34 pieces of carved elephant ivory, two carved hippopotamus tusks and two carved warthog tusks when the couple's luggage was X-rayed.

Ivory products are illegal in the United States.

“While performing our traditional role of enforcing trade and immigration laws CBP is vigilant at identifying and intercepting products that violate hundreds of regulations for numerous other agencies,” said Mark Wilkerson, Area Port Director for the Area Port of Seattle. “We take our job of enforcing laws that protect endangered species seriously and work hard to prevent the illegal importation of these products.”

The husband and wife arrived on a flight from the Philippines on May 11.

They will be fined $500 for transporting the ivory along with having the ivory seized.

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species is an international agreement between governments. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival. Today, it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 30,000 species of animals and plants, whether they are traded as live specimens, fur coats or dried herbs.

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