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Illicit trade in ivory grew sharply in 2009, Britain-based wildlife trade monitoring network Traffic warned in a recently released report.

Although illegal ivory trading has been increasing since 2004, “The remarkable surge in 2009 reflects a series of large-scale ivory seizure events that suggest an increased involvement of organized crime syndicates in the trade, connecting African source countries with Asian end-use markets,” the group said ahead of an international conservation meeting in March.

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