6 people arrested in African ivory smuggling ring

NEW YORK (AP) -- Federal authorities say six people have been arrested on charges of conspiring to smuggle the ivory of African elephants into the United States.

The arrests took place in New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Texas. Further details were expected after court appearances later Wednesday.

Authorities say the defendants disguised the ivory to avoid detection as it was smuggled through New York's Kennedy International Airport from Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Uganda.

Authorities say the illegal ivory trade is the major cause of the decline of elephant populations in Africa. Importation of ivory into the United States has been a crime since 1976.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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