Man gets five years in Hanoi for transporting rhino horns from Africa

By Hoang Nguyen   June 2, 2020 | 03:00 am PT
Man gets five years in Hanoi for transporting rhino horns from Africa
An endangered east African black rhinoceros and her young one in Tanzania. Photo by Reuters/Tom Kirkwood.
The Hanoi People’s Court sentenced a man to five years in prison on Monday for trafficking rhino horns from Angola to Vietnam.

Nguyen Van Pho, 31, was charged with "illegally transporting rare and endangered animals" after arriving in Noi Bai International Airport from Bangkok on November 7, 2019, with the horns.

When airport security personnel checked his baggage, they found a package wrapped in tin foil with two black rhino horns which weighed 1.9kg inside.

The black rhino is on the list of endangered wildlife protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

Pho, a construction worker in Angola, said his contractor, Anh, had hired him to carry the horns to Vietnam for VND1.2 million (51.68). Anh had told him he would send someone to receive the package in Vietnam.

He admitted in court he knew possessing rhino horns was illegal, but said he did it for the money.

Investigators are looking into Anh’s role.

The trade of rhino horns is banned in Vietnam, but the country remains one of its biggest consumers as people believe it has powers to cure diseases like cancer. Rhino horn consumption is also used by some to show off their status.

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