Singapore Seizes Rhino Horns Enroute from South Africa to Laos

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The 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns were seized at Singapore Changi Airport ( Photo: Nparks)

Singapore National Parks Board (NParks) has seized Rhinoceros horns that were smuggled into the country through Changi Airport.

The Straits Times reports that officers from airport security and the National Parks Board’s (NParks) K9 unit discovered 20 pieces of Rhinoceros horns that weighed 34 kilograms with a value of SGD 1.2 million (USD 844,740). The horns were concealed in two bags that were in transit from Africa to Laos.

Illegal rhinoceros horns were found in two bags (Photo: Nparks)

The owner of the bags, was apprehended at the airport and could be jailed for two years. NParks authorities said, “Rhinoceros are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) and international trade in rhinoceros horns is prohibited.

“Singapore is a signatory to Cites and is committed to international efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade to ensure the long-term survival of these animals.”

Centre for Wildlife Forensics is currently conducting genetic testing to determine which species of rhinoceros the horns belong to, and they will soon be destroyed so that they are unable to enter the market in any capacity. This will also disrupt the supply chain of rhinoceros horns that are traded illegally.

The discovery of illegal Rhinoceros horns makes up for the most recent seizure of illegally traded wildlife parts in Singapore in the last few years. Items like Pangolin scales and Elephant ivory have also been confiscated in the recent past

According to World Wide Fund For Nature(WWF), Laos is frequently touted as a transit country for rhino horns, which moves to consumer countries where it is often used in traditional medicine.