Vietnamese rhino horn smugglers arrested

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Two Vietnamese nationals were arrested at South Africa 's OR Tambo International Airport last week for allegedly attempting to transport ivory and rhino horns and will remain in police custody until a translator is found, according to local media.

Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development spokesperson, Andile Gumede, told BuaNews on December 12 that the two were arrested after airport X-ray scanners showed what appeared to be rhino horns in one of their suitcases.

Gumede said the 40-year-old man and 30-year-old woman are facing charges of illegal possession of ivory and rhino horns.

According to Gumede, the seized goods are estimated to be worth 500,000 rand (US$59,296).


Poachers have killed a record 405 rhinoceroses in South Africa this year, South Africa's national park board said last week.

Rhino horn is also popular for use in Asian medicine - especially in China and Vietnam, where it is believed to cure cancer despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

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