January 2013

New Year rhino horn bust

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Tuesday 8 January 2013

Two Vietnamese men were detained on Sunday 6 January at separate airports in Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok for trafficking rhino horns.

The first man was arrested at Bangkok airport in Thailand, with six pieces of rhino horn in his luggage, weighing around 16.6kg in total. According to the AFP the suspect was detained after arriving in Thailand from a flight from Eithiopia, while waiting to transfer onwards to Hanoi, Vietnam.

On the same day, a second man was arrested at Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat International Airport. He also had six rhino horns in his possession, weighing around 10.6kg in total. The horns were wrapped in silver wrapping and hidden in clothes amongst his luggage.

Both horns are believed to be smuggled from Mozambique, whose lax security is of great concern to the South African authorities. South Africa's world famous Kruger National Park shares a long border with Mozambique presenting a high risk of poaching for the parks rhinos. More than 633 rhinos were killed in South Africa during 2012, and over half of these were poached in Kruger National Park.

Two white rhinos drinking, South Africa

Photo credits Rod Potter, Steve & Ann Toon

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