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Two men transporting 31 rhinoceros horns worth an estimated one million dollars were arrested by police in Vietnam, a police official said on Monday.

rhino horn

Police discovered the horns on Saturday, said Major General Nguyen Xuan Lam, director of Nghe An provincial police department in central Vietnam.

Suspects Doan Duy Dinh and Le Thanh Trung, both aged 32, were caught with 37kg of horns in three bags at a railway station, police told dpa.

Dinh said that an unidentified man had hired him to transport the consignment from Ho Chi Minh City to Nghe An for US$1,850, police said.

Demand for the horn of the endangered species among Vietnam’s wealthy elite has been partly blamed by conservation groups for a spike in rhino killings that reached a record 1,215 in 2014, 10 times the number killed in 2009, according to WildAid, which works to end the illegal trade in animal parts.

Folk superstitions in Vietnam esteem rhino horn as a medicine, aphrodisiac and status symbol.

A single gram of rhino horn can command US$133 while a kilogram of ivory costs about US$2,100 on the black market, according to reports.

Most of the world’s rhinos live in southern Africa. Over the weekend, the South African government said that poaching of rhinos had increased by 18% in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period last year.


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