Rhino Horn Smugglers Arrested in Thailand and Vietnam

On the first weekend of January 2013, ten rhino horns weighing a total of 27.1 kg were confiscated and two smuggling suspects were arrested in Thailand and Vietnam. Photo: iStockphoto.com

Authorities in Thailand and Vietnam arrested two rhino horn smugglers and confiscated ten rhino horns in two separate incidents on January 6th, 2013.

Thai authorities received a tip-off which led to the arrest of Pham Quang Loc at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. The Vietnamese national arrived from Addis Ababa on Ethiopia Airlines flight ET618. Four rhino horns weighing 10.6 kg were found in his luggage, according to Thai Rath. The horns were cut into six pieces and hidden inside a hippo figurine.

FREELAND Foundation has posted a photo album of the bust here.

In Vietnam, a suspect identified as Ha Chan Chinh was arrested at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City after he arrived from Doha via Bangkok on Qatar Airways flight 616. Thanhnien.com reports that six rhino horns weighing a total of 16.5 kg were discovered wrapped in foil inside his luggage. Police told TuoiTre News that a “stinking odor” prompted the search. Chinh said he had transported the horns from Mozambique.

Here’s to the Thai and Vietnamese authorities!


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Rhishja Cota-Larson

I am the founder of Annamiticus, and I work as an independent Wildlife Trade and Communication Design Consultant. I have journeyed to the streets of Hanoi to research the illegal wildlife trade, and to the rainforests of Sumatra and Java to document the world’s rarest rhinos. I am a Co-Chair of the SSN Pangolin Working Group. At CITES meetings, I collaborate with colleagues from around the world to lobby in favor of protecting endangered species. I am a Wildlife Trade and Trafficking Consultant for the upcoming documentary The Price, the host of Behind the Schemes and author of the book Murder, Myths & Medicine. I enjoy desert gardening, herping, reading, designing, and walking with my dogs.

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