Published: 2017-03-19 10:02:18
(14 Mar 2017) Thai authorities announced on Tuesday they have seized 21 rhinoceros horns smuggled from Ethiopia worth almost five million US dollars.
The seizure came after officials at a Bangkok airport searched luggage originating from Ethiopia accompanied by two Thai women who arrived on different flights.
The women escaped and fled the airport when authorities discovered the contraband.
Thai police have issued arrest warrants for the two suspects.
Friday’s seizure of 49.4 kilogrammes (110 pounds) of smuggled rhino horns worth around 173 million baht (4,898,076 US dollars) was the second seizure of rhino horns in two years, the customs statement said.
Wildlife official Somkiat Soontornpitakkool said it was the biggest seizure in “five or even 10 years”.
Rhinoceros horns, blood, skin, and urine are used in traditional Chinese medicine.
There has been a recent upsurge for rhino horn in Asia, particularly Vietnam, where it carries prestige as a luxury item, wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC said on its website.
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