On February 14th, the Hong Kong police announced that they had intercepted two passengers who were illegally transporting no less than forty kilos of rhinoceros horns. A sad record for smuggling by air…
This is the type of macabre discovery that should be avoided... On February 14th, customs in the Hong Kong International Airport explained in a statement having established a new sad record. After arresting two people, they unfortunately discovered in their luggage... forty kilos of rhinoceros horns!
All in all, twenty-four horns were carefully hidden in the luggage, for a total value estimated at £780,000. The two smugglers intercepted by security forces arrived from the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, and were in transit to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, a country known to be one of the main markets for rhinoceros horn. Their loot was carefully hidden in cardboard boxes, according to the press release given to the press on February 15th.
According to the ADM Capital Foundation, the philanthropic branch of the investment fund that bears the same name, this seizure turns out to be one-fifth of the amount of rhinoceros horns discovered in Hong Kong over the last five years. Sophie le Clue, head of the Foundation's environmental program, suggested that a large network of traffickers was behind this operation.
Catching the culprits
Still, for the authorities, it is very difficult to get their hands on the real culprits, the masterminds behind the international trafficking of rhinoceros horns.
Indeed, within hubs that are airports or railway stations, customs officers usually only catch those known as ‘mules,’ namely those responsible for transporting the goods from point A to point B, but who are only vaguely aware of the hierarchy whereby the traffic is organised.
Take a look at the video above for more on this shocking discovery...