Police on Tanzania’s Zanzibar archipelago seized 1 041 elephant tusks apparently being smuggled en route to Malaysia hidden in a container of anchovies, officials said on Wednesday.
Police and customs officers at the port in Stone Town, the capital of the semi-autonomous island, seized the shipment of ivory late on Tuesday.
“We are still investigating,” said Martin Lissu, the port police chief.
“The consignment was offloaded at Zanzibar port two weeks ago and stored in outskirts of Stone Town.”
Two men, both local transport agents, are being held by the police in connection with the discovery.
Lissu said the shipment appeared to have been destined for Malaysia, and purportedly originated from the mainland Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.
The tusks — representing the death of at least 500 of the endangered animals — were packed in a container of dried anchovies, with the strong smell believed to be an attempt to discourage closer inspection by the authorities.