Vietnamese arrested in Mozambique for smuggling rhino horns

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Mozambique police arrested Ho Chien of Vietnam as he was attempting leave the southeastern African country, apprehending him at Maputo International Airport with six rhino horns.

The six horns, which weighed about 17 kilograms, were wrapped in clothing in Chien's luggage, Mozambican news agency AIM reported.

The arrest was the result of the collaborative efforts of the police, customs officials, and the veterinary department of Mozambique's Ministry of Agriculture.

The horns are presumed to come from rhinos in South Africa, as the rhinoceros is believed to be extinct in southern Mozambique.

The police did not reveal Chien's intended destination.

In Vietnam, 17 kg of rhino horn is worth about US$1.1 million.

Last year Mozambican police arrested three other Vietnamese nationals at an airport in the northern city of Pemba as they attempted to smuggle rhino horn out of the country.

Ho Chi Minh City police arrested Ha Cha Chinh for attempting to enter Vietnam with six rhino horns weighing 16.5 kg on his way back from Maputo.

On the same day, another Vietnamese was arrested at a Bangkok airport with six rhino horns, weighing 10.6 kilos in total. He had also come from Mozambique, and was waiting for a flight to Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi.

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The demand for rhino horn in Vietnam in particular and in Asia in general is high, as many people believe that it can be used as a cure for many different kinds of illnesses, even cancer.

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