SOCIETY

Hanoi police seize 2.1 kg of suspected rhino horns

Tuoitrenews

Updated : 05/07/2013 12:13 GMT + 7

Police in Hanoi yesterday temporarily seized 2.15 kg of animal horns from three passengers from Doha after suspecting the horns were from rhinos, an endangered wide life species.

This occurred after Ho Chi Minh City airport officials on May 4 seized 7.28 kg of rhino horns hidden in a suitcase.

The three passengers are Pham Minh Chau, 28, a resident in Hanoi, Nguyen Trung Dung, 34, also of Hanoi, and Nguyen Thi Nguyet, 26, of Hung Yen Province.

When examining the luggage of these passengers, customs officers in Hanoi discovered a total of 19 parts of animal horns, including seven in Dung’s luggage, eight in Nguyet’s and four in Chau’s.

Suspecting that the horns belonged to rhinos, the airport customs transferred the case to police for investigation.

Police have taken samples of the horns for testing.

Earlier on May 4, the airport customs in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Son Nhat airport seized 7.28 kg of rhino horns hidden in the suitcase of a Vietnamese passenger N.D.D., 34, who arrived from Qatar.

After finding suspicions signs on the man’s suitcase, customs officers examined it and discovered the horns packed in silver wrapping and hidden among other items in the suitcase.

The HCMC Customs Department handed the man and the rhino horns over to police for investigation.

A similar case occurred in January when police caught 33-year-old Ha Chan Chinh illegally transporting six rhino horns from Mozambique to Vietnam.

Chinh confessed that he had trafficked the horns from Mozambique. The horns had been sawn off rhinos that had been shot dead in Africa, the man said.

Rhino horns are listed in Vietnam Red Book, so it is among the goods that are banned from being imported to or exported from the country.

Recently, the Vietnamese government issued a directive banning specimens of rhinos and several other wild animals from being traded, exported or imported.

Specifically, specimens of white and black rhinos and elephants, as well as products made from their horns, are banned. Any other animals included in the list of the appendices of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) are also not to be traded.