Rhino horn smuggler gets 10-year jail term in South Africa

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A court in South Africa has sentenced a Vietnamese man to ten years in prison for trafficking rhinoceros horns out of the country, Tuoi Tre quoted a wildlife conservation organization as saying Tuesday.


Xuan Hoang, 29, was arrested at O.R. Tambo International Airport with seven rhino horns, including some belonging to baby rhinos, weighing 16 kilograms, according to the newspaper.


The horns are worth nearly 900,000 rand (US$116,000), but can be sold for up to two million rand ($259,000) on the black market, it quoted local media as saying.


Local media said the sentence handed down by the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on June 30 was harsh, considering many similar cases lead to suspended sentences and fines.


However, Magistrate Prince Manyathi was quoted as saying that one of South Africa's precious resources was being destroyed and it was high time the courts took a tough stance.


Since January, 124 rhinos have been poached in South Africa, including five black rhinos and 119 white ones, according to local reports.

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