ST. PETERSBURG — St. Petersburg authorities have confiscated three tons of mammoth tusks from a criminal gang that tried to smuggle them out of the country.
A local court said Thursday that it had confiscated some 64 full and 14 reconstructed tusks, but would not say when.
A small group of criminals has been involved in smuggling tusks and bones from the extinct beasts across Russia’s borders since 2004, the court said in a statement.
The court said that the tusks come from a species of mammoth that once inhabited the Sakha republic. The tusks have survived thousands of years in the permafrost that covers vast part of the region.