February 15th, 2023: District Judge Ong Chin Rhu sentenced Dao Thi Boi to 10 months jail for the illegal importation of 1787 tusks and tusk pieces from Nigeria on March 5th, 2018.
Although Boi maintained that she did not know the contents of the container, the presiding judge stated that there had been enough red flags on this shipment and others that she had handled to show that she had not shown due diligence. Guilty knowledge that there were elephant tusks in the container for import was not a necessary ingredient of the offence.
She had been convicted on March 23rd, 2022.
DNA analysis linked this shipment directly to a ivory seizure in Côte d'Ivoire six weeks previous.
- Dao Thi Boi, owner/director of two Singapore shipping/logistics firms, was on March 23rd, convicted for her part in shipping 3.3 tonnes of elephant ivory in a 40′ container from Nigeria, via Malaysia and Singapore, for Vietnam.
- 1787 elephant tusks and tusk pieces were found amongst 61 bags of ground nuts on March 5th, 2018.
- It was shown that she did not exercise due diligence and thereby contravened the Endangered Species (Import & Export) Act.
- She will return to court on May 24th for sentencing submissions and could receive up to two years in jail and/or a maximum $500,000 fine.
LINKS THROUGH DNA ANALYSIS AND PHYSICAL EVIDENCE
In an article published in ‘Nature Human Behaviour’ in February 2022, entitled “Elephant genotypes reveal the size and connectivity of transnational ivory traffickers”, Dr. Samuel K. Wasser et al looked at 49 previously analysed ivory seizures for similarities and connections. Spin off investigation led to the findings of 45 other connected ivory seizures. This is seizure number 46 of DNA analysed ivory.
- Two tusks were genetic match with two tusks from a 478 kg ivory seizure made in Côte d’Ivoire on January 18th, 2018. (two tusks from the same elephant were found in two different seizures.
- Most of this Singapore seizure was comprised of forest elephant ivory from the Republic of Congo but included forest ivory from Gabon and Cameroon and small amounts of savannah ivory from Chad and Cameroon.
- The Côte d’Ivoire seizure was part of a group of nine other seizures (table below) involving the same supplier (Moazu Kromah) and same buyer (Cam Transit/NGUYEN Mau Chien), that involved Kampala and ports in Kenya, Nigeria, Mozambique and destinations in Vietnam and Cambodia.
Two of those nine shipments had ivory from the Burundi government ivory stockpile and one had CITES markings indicating it was from a government source in Mozambique.
Trading firm director convicted of illegally importing 1,787 elephant tusks into Singapore
March 23, 2022: