Recently, a 27-year old man was fined for attempting to smuggle ivory through Hong Kong. The Tsuen Wan Magistrates' Courts fined him $62,000. While that might seem steep, upon closer inspection, that fine is no deterrent. The black market value of the ivory products the smuggler was carrying is close to $150,000.
Clearly, it pays smugglers to take their chances and pay an occasional fine, because the fine is so much less than the end-point sale value of the ivory. Meanwhile, elephants are going extinct at an appalling rate throughout Africa and Asia. Poachers heartlessly kill them, tear off their tusks, and leave their carcasses to rot.
Ivory smuggling needs to be prohibited with stricter consequences. Tell Hong Kong's Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department to revise the Protection of Endangered Species of Animals and Plants Ordinance so that the penalty for smuggling ivory equals or exceeds the value of the products being illegally transported!