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AFP
July 29, 2019

Vietnam seizes 125 kilos of rhino horn

World

AFP
July 29, 2019

HANOI: Fifty-five pieces of rhino horn were found encased in plaster at an airport in the Vietnamese capital, authorities said on Sunday, as the country tries to crack down on sophisticated wildlife smuggling routes.

The communist state is both a consumption hub and popular transit point for the multibillion dollar trade in animal parts.

The 125 kilogram haul of rhino horn discovered at Hanoi´s Noi Bai airport on Thursday was found after the carefully disguised shipment aroused suspicion.

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 half a day to break them open," a security source told AFP.

It was not immediately clear which African country the shipment originated from.

The parts were found the same day police arrested a key wildlife trafficking suspect and two other men after seven frozen tiger carcasses were discovered in their vehicle in a parking lot.

The busts follow a record seizure in Singapore a week ago of nearly nine tonnes of ivory and a huge stash of pangolin scales destined for Vietnam.

Elephant tusks, pangolins, tiger parts and rhino horn are all sold on the black market in Vietnam, while the rest is smuggled on to China.

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