Hanoi customs officers seizes 100 kg of ivory, rhino horns in record haul

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More than 50 pieces of animal products, suspected to be rhino horns and elaphant tusks, are seized  at Noi Bai airport, Hanoi, on Wednesday night. Photo credit: Tien Phong. More than 50 pieces of animal products, suspected to be rhino horns and elaphant tusks, are seized at Noi Bai airport, Hanoi, on Wednesday night. Photo credit: Tien Phong.

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Custom officers at a Hanoi airport on Wednesday seized 100 kg of what they believed to be ivory and rhino horns - the largest haul of wildlife products - that arrived in a flight from Africa.
More tests are being conducted to decide if the contraband is indeed tusks and rhino horns, according to a statement by the Custom Office of Noi Bai Airport.
They were found stashed in four different pieces of baggage that belonged to two people, Pham Van Luat and Vu Thanh Hung, the statement said.
It did not disclose where the flight departed but said it transited in South Korea before arriving in Hanoi. 
A customs officer estimated that rhino horn may cost up to US$133 per gram and ivory, about $2,100 per kg on the black market.
Further investigation is underway.
The rising trade of rhino horns and elephant tusks is pushing the two giant animals to the verge of extinction, and Vietnam has faced criticism from international conservation groups for being a big part of it.
Vietnam government bans the import of ivory and rhino horns and the commercial use of the parts, but that has not effectively stopped the widespread belief in their medicinal effects despite the lack of adequate scientific evidence.
Many also flaunt the parts as a status symbol.

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