Ivory spoof shows Singapore flaws

Central Station | 9 Aug 2018

The World Wide Fund for Nature has revealed it set up a fake online ivory shop in Singapore -- attracting widespread condemnation -- in a stunt to underline that local laws can't stop the illegal trade.

A week after the launch of Ivory Lane, which purported to sell vintage ivory jewelry items through an online store, the WWF said the idea "sparked a heated debate on wildlife trade, national legislation and enforcement in Singapore," garnering 65,000 reactions on social media.

Singapore banned the commercial import and export of ivory in 1990, although ivory that entered the market before 1990 is still permitted for sale there. This continues to facilitate the illicit ivory trade globally, WWF claims, as recently poached ivory can masquerade as vintage ivory.

More than 40 shops in Singapore sell ivory products, and there are numerous online listings. In the physical shops, WWF investigators say, traders explained how to smuggle ivory across borders undetected.

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