Vietnam seizes 125 kilos of rhino horn hidden in plaster

30 Juillet, 2019, 01:15 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Officials found 125 kilos of rhino horn encased in plaster

Vietnam is both a consumption hub and popular smuggling route for illegal wildlife - from tigers to elephant tusks, pangolins and rhino horn.

Images of the bust show large rhino horns and smaller pieces sitting on a table and police using rods to break the casts apart. It took over half a day for the customs teams to break all 55 packages all open.

Nguyen Huu Hue and two others were arrested on Thursday, after the seven dead tigers were found in their vehicle in a parking lot.

However, it was not immediately clear if this was where the seven tiger cubs had originated from.

Authorities are still uncertain if the tiger cubs came from the wild or from illegal tiger farms in Laos.

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'Hue set up a company. which sells building material as a cover for the illegal trading of tigers and wildlife, ' Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry of Public Security, reported.

More than 125kg of smuggled rhino horns have been seized in Vietnam in one of the biggest wildlife trafficking cases ever seen in south-east Asia.

Police have previously busted several other members of the same wildlife trafficking ring, which has been running for several years from a central province which shares a border with Laos.

Vietnam is a major consumer of rhino horn, which is believed to have medical powers, and a transit point for elephant ivory to consumers mostly in China and the United States, destined to be made into jewellery and home decorations.

That comes after authorities in Singapore last week said they seized a record haul of 8.8 tons of ivory headed to Vietnam that came from almost 300 African elephants. There are now only around 29,000 rhinos left in the world, according to the International Rhino Foundation, and it is estimated three rhinos a day are poached in South Africa alone.

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