Maldivian customs authorities seized a total of 21 boxes earlier this month containing 429 kg of shark fins that were about to be illegally exported from Velana International Airport.
Customs searched the boxes with Aviation Security Command (AVSECOM) and shark fins were found hidden in a cargo declared as salt fish.
The official shared updates on the seizure on his official Twitter, along with photos of the shipment:
A total of 21 boxes containing 429 kg of shark fins were seized at Velana International Airport by Customs with @AVSECOMmv The shark fins were concealed in a shipment declared as salt fish. Other investigations are underway.@MoEnvmv @MariyaDidi @MoFMRAmv pic.twitter.com/85jvLSJMoo
– Maldives Customs (@CustomsMv) January 3, 2021
Although another tweet with the logo of a company called Enzi on the boxes was subsequently deleted, Customs, after public inquiries, clarified that although the seized shipment declared as salted fish was packaged in Enzi boxes it had not been declared. by Enzi, therefore, an investigation was opened to try to trace the provenance.
The Maldives declared a total ban on shark fishing in the country’s exclusive economic zone in 2010, following a decline in shark populations and sightings in the region.
In 2011, the Ministry of Housing and Environment announced a ban on the capture, maintenance, trade and damage of sharks in accordance with the Environmental Protection and Preservation Act (EPPA) . By law, responsibility for regulating trade in any goods and implementing trade bans on goods falls under the mandate of the Ministry of Economic Development under the Maldives Export and Import Law.
The environmental organization Wild Aid estimates that around 73 million sharks are killed annually for trade.