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Prosecuting a man smuggling 126kg rhino horns from Dubai to Vietnam

15:01 | 07/09/2020

Hanoi police detected a batch of 126.5kg of rhino horn on a flight from Dubai to Vietnam upon its arrival at Noi Bai International Airport. The offender was under prosecution Sunday for the illegal trade.

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prosecuting a man smuggling 126kg rhino horns from dubai to vietnam
Rhino horns found smuggled into Vietnam can fetch up to $60,000 per kilo (Photo: VNA)

According to Vietnam Net, Do Minh Toan, 35, on July 25, 2019, was caught transporting 55 pieces of rhino horns concealed in thick plaster. Toan and his accomplices took advantage of the plaster covers to deceive the inspection force and the screening system at the airport.

It took over half a day for the customs teams to break all 55 packages all open. The haul seized was worth around $7.5m. The horns were reportedly had been smuggled in from the United Arab Emirates on an Etihad Airways flight.

Toan was part of a large illegal rhino horn ring. Toan is currently under prosecution for violating regulations on the protection of endangered, precious, and rare animals. The case is deemed “especially serious” for the large number of rhino horns being traded from abroad involves.

The case is being investigated in a wider range to further clarify related individuals.

prosecuting a man smuggling 126kg rhino horns from dubai to vietnam

An undercover photograph of raw and carved rhino horn for sale in Vietnam. (Image courtesy of Wildlife Justice Commission)

Rhino horns, which when ground to a powder is believed by some Vietnamese to have medicinal qualities to cure everything from cancer to a hangover, are particularly lucrative and can fetch up to $60,000 per kilo, The Guardian reported in an article published last year.

The seizure is part of a broader crackdown in Vietnam on the vast multi-million dollar wildlife trafficking network operating in the country.

Earlier on late July, Vietnam Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has signed a new directive that bans wildlife imports and closes illegal wildlife markets, a move applauded by Humane Society International/Vietnam.

This directive provides clear instructions to relevant enforcement agencies and authorities to take immediate actions to better control wildlife trade as part of the global response to the threat of zoonotic diseases such as COVID-19 posed by wildlife consumption and trade.

Ms. Phuong Tham, HSI/Vietnam director, said: “Vietnam’s directive clearly shows the government’s commitment to eradicating illegal wildlife trade and consumption. The directive bans wildlife imports with certain exemptions and urges the closure of illegal wildlife

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Jasmine Le