Hong Kong is to set up an intelligence network across East Asia to keep track of ivory smuggling in an attempt to break its links with the SAR. The move comes in the wake of the seizure of 81 ivory tusks two months ago, the largest in a decade in Hong Kong. Last week, fishing boat skipper Kwok Yun-ming, 39, was jailed for 16 months for trying to smuggle 506kg of ivory worth more than $1 million to Zhuhai on October 13. The Sunday Morning Post recently revealed that a group of Hong Kong-based dealers are behind a resurgence of the illegal ivory trade in East Asia. Links were also uncovered between a Singapore firm, Delight Harvest, and a defunct company of the same name registered in Hong Kong. The Singaporean authorities have alleged the Singapore firm was to have received tonnes of ivory intercepted there in June. But Hong Kong Customs and the SAR Endangered Species Protection Division could not get enough evidence to bring any dealers before the courts. Senior Superintendent Gary Kwok said the convicted captain 'gave us the runabout with his stories', adding that there was nothing more they could do as far as the 506kg seizure was concerned. Information supplied by their Singaporean counterparts was so brief that they could hardly take further action. However, Mr Kwok said it was necessary to step up action against the trade. A spokesman for the Customs Department said they have also strengthened intelligence-sharing with concerned parties. Another source said they included Singapore, Thailand and Japan. Government endangered species protection officer Boris Kwan Sai-ping said his officers also exhausted their energy trying to establish the Hong Kong link in the ivory smuggling. He said they had studied and investigated a 26-page report compiled by the Environmental Investigation Agency, which was tabled at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Santiago, Chile, last month. 'But there's no concrete evidence against any individual that can stand up in our courts,' he added. Mr Kwan said apart from exchanging intelligence with overseas agencies, they would step up inspections. He said his department had forwarded all necessary information, including the October seizure, to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, and had implemented all its rules against ivory. Last month the Post reported that the London and Washington-based Environmental Investigation Agency had identified a group of Hong Kong-based dealers as being behind a revival of the illegal ivory trade in East Asia. It claimed Singaporean companies and individuals implicated in the smuggling are a front for the real power behind the consortium - a group of Hong Kong-based ivory traders.