ITV News goes undercover to expose Tanzania's illegal ivory trade

. Credit: ITV News

Video report by ITV News Africa correspondent Rohit Kachroo

An ITV News undercover team has gone undercover in a Tanzanian marketplace to show just how easy it is to buy illegal ivory in Africa.

Posing as a Chinese businessman, our reporter was offered six whole elephant tusks and told he could have them to order within two weeks.

Hidden cameras recorded the sellers offering to help our team smuggle the tusks through customs and into China.

How the deal worked

1. Our team enters a market stall and asks about buying ivory

2. Within a few minutes our reporter is led into a backroom and shown small ivory products

A dealer produces ivory bracelets, necklaces and small carvings. Credit: ITV News

3. The team is offered more products on condition they remain “discreet”

Our undercover reporter (right) seen in discussion with sellers before a second meeting is arranged. Credit: ITV News

4. A meeting is arranged in a hotel room where the sellers produce half an elephant tusk

The half tusk, weighing 6kg, was offered to our undercover team for $700. Credit: ITV News

5. The sellers offer to go back to the bush to secure six more tusks within two weeks

This man said the speed of the transaction would depend on how much money we could produce up front. Credit: ITV News

At the start of the last century there were 10 million elephants in Africa. Today that figure stands at around half a million.

In Tanzania it is not uncommon for as many as 20 elephants to be killed for their tusks in just one night.

In January the Chinese government destroyed 6.15 tonnes of ivory seized from illegal trade.

China is the world's biggest consumer of ivory, according to WWF statistics.

Last year ITV News witnessed the bloody aftermath of a brutal poachers’ attack on a family of 12 elephants in Kenya.