East Asia is the largest consumer of ivory products, mainly due to high levels of corruption, low law enforcement capacity and low political will in the region. Many Asian law enforcement agencies don't think of wildlife trafficking as a serious type of organized crime - though, the report says, this is slowly changing.
When it reaches East Asia, ivory is carved into classical items like balls, religious items and ornaments, or, increasingly, modern items like iPhone covers and cigarette lighters. In many countries, there are both illegal and legal markets for ivory, making enforcement difficult.
The ivory trade also has disturbing ties to drug trafficking and terrorist groups. Last June, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman finally announced that the U.S. recognized wildlife trafficking, particularly poaching, as a major threat to national security. Terrorist groups including the Lord's Resistance Army, the Janjaweed and al-Shabaab have all been pointed to in the past for their ties to poaching and wildlife trafficking.