Video: Inside the Largest Ivory Seizure in West Africa

When a Togo Customs official decided to turn around his X-ray machine and inspect freight leaving his country, instead of looking only at cargo coming into the country, he uncovered what at the time was to be the biggest seizure of illegal ivory in the history of West Africa.

An X-ray mage of ivory in a shipping container.
An X-ray mage of ivory in a shipping container.

In this outtake from the National Geographic Explorer show “Warlords of Ivory, ” National Geographic investigative journalist Bryan Christy discovers how nearly four tons of ivory was discovered hidden in a shipping container and he interviews Huu Dinh Khao, the person suspected of trying to smuggle the tusks of some 500 elephants from Togo to Vietnam. (See “Togo Makes Second Record Ivory Seizure.”)


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More than forty years in U.S., UK, and South African media gives David Max Braun global perspective and experience across multiple storytelling platforms. His coverage of science, nature, politics, and technology has been published/broadcast by the BBC, CNN, NPR, AP, UPI, National Geographic, TechWeb, De Telegraaf, Travel World, and Argus South African Newspapers. He has published two books and won several journalism awards. In his 22-year career at National Geographic he was VP and editor in chief of National Geographic Digital Media, and the founding editor of the National Geographic Society blog, hosting a global discussion on issues resonating with the Society's mission and initiatives. He also directed the Society side of the Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship, awarded to Americans seeking the opportunity to spend nine months abroad, engaging local communities and sharing stories from the field with a global audience. A regular expert on National Geographic Expeditions, David also lectures on storytelling for impact. He has 120,000 followers on social media: Facebook  Twitter  LinkedIn