Suspected ivory smugglers to get heavy sentences in the US

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Flag of Ivory Coast
Flag of Ivory Coast

Six people have been arrested on suspicion of smuggling African ivory worth hundreds of thousands of dollars into the US, the New York authorities said on Wednesday. The Pan African News Agency (PANA) learnt that the suspects arrested in the US states of New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas, face possible 20-year prison sentences, if convicted. A US government statement issued in New York said the defendants arranged to have ivory from Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Uganda shipped into the US disguised as wooden snakes, guitars and statues. The US banned ivory imports in 1976. Observers said that illegal trade in African ivory was a major cause of the decline of elephant populations on the continent.

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