Vietnam seizes 5 kilograms of rhino horn smuggled from Cambodia

By Staff reporters   July 27, 2017 | 10:30 am GMT+7

Three Vietnamese smugglers were busted transporting the horn to Saigon.

Police in the southern province of Tay Ninh have detained three Vietnamese men for smuggling rhino horn, according to Vietnam News Agency.

The group was allegedly driving from Tay Ninh's Moc Bai Border Gate to Ho Chi Minh City early last Sunday when police stopped their car and discovered 10 pieces of rhino horn weighing about 5 kilograms (11 pounds).

Cao Xuan Vinh, 28, and Ho Van Viet, 33, said they bought the horn in Cambodia before smuggling it into Vietnam. The two then hired driver Nguyen Duc Nam, 42, to help transport it to Ho Chi Minh City to sell.

Police are conducting further investigations.

The sale and purchase of rhino horn is banned in Vietnam, although the country remains one of the biggest consumers of the critically endangered animal.

Vietnam has developed an appetite for rhino horn on the back of economic expansion, with many people believing it can cure cancer, a myth conservation groups have scoffed at. Vietnam's last Javan rhino, a rare Southeast Asian species, was found dead in 2010 with its horn hacked off.

Backed by the government, public awareness campaigns have helped discourage the trade, and prices have fallen in recent times.