|Rhino horns seized at the Nội Bài airport yesterday. – Photo infonet.vn|Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Animal horns weighing 50kg were seized yesterday at the Nội Bài International Airport in Hà Nội.
The horns, which resembled rhino horns, were hidden in a red suitcase weighing 61.5kg, which was covered with white plastic. The suitcase was carried on flight number KQ 870/28 DEC 16, departing from Nairobi, Kenya, to Hà Nội. No one claimed ownership of the suitcase.
The custom force of Nội Bài airport and police officers from the police department for smuggling prevention (C74) under the Public Security Ministry opened the suitcase and found nine large horns as a whole, seven horn pieces and three small horns. The heaviest one weighed up to 7kg.
A custom official at the airport said that if the horns had been sold in the domestic market, they would have fetched more than VNĐ20 billion (US$890,000) in total.
“The seized horns were still fresh, probably belonging to African black rhinos. In previous rhino horn smuggling cases, the seized horns were often cut into small pieces. The horns confiscated this time were some of the largest ever,” the official said.
The seized horns were sealed for further investigation.
According to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, rhino horn trade is banned. Rhinos are among the wildlife animals in need of protection. — VNS