Hong Kong customs seized a record 40 kg (88 pounds) of rhino horns worth around HK$8 million ($1 million) from Johannesburg en route to Vietnam, the latest bust for authorities trying to tackle the rising volume of endangered species trafficked through the Chinese territory.
The seizure came less than one month after customs busted a massive smuggling operation from Africa, seizing a record quantity of pangolin scales, along with more than 1,000 ivory tusks.
Customs said the rhino horns were found in two check-in carton boxes, destined for Ho Chi Minh City. Two men were arrested, they said in a statement on Thursday, adding it was a record haul for airline passengers.
“It's shocking to us that today's 40 kg rhino horn seizure equates to about 20 percent of the total amount of rhino horn seized in Hong Kong from 2013 to the end of October 2019,” conservation group WildAid said.
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