Thai officials seize smuggled rhino horns

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January 7 2013 at 06:12am


Bangkok – Thai authorities have seized more than $500 000 (R4 291 000) worth of rhino horn from passenger’s luggage at a Bangkok airport.

Thai Customs officer Khanit Isdul said Sunday that officials acting on a tip-off found four rhino horns in the passenger’s luggage at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Officials arrested Phan Quangloc, a 56-year-old Vietnamese passenger who arrived with the case from Ethiopia on Sunday. He is expected to face a jail term in Thailand if convicted of smuggling.

Officials estimated the value of the confiscated horns, cut into 6 sections, at 18 million baht ($586 000).

Asia is the main market for smuggled rhino horn, as some people believe it can cure diseases. Trade in rhino parts is banned under international agreements. – Sapa-AP