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Noi Bai Officials Seize 125kg of Rhino Horns Worth $7.5m

Officials at Hanoi's Noi Bai Airport on Sunday seized 125 kilograms of smuggled rhino horn, which represents one of the biggest wildlife tracking cases ever recorded in Southeast Asia. 

According to The Guardian, the shipment arrived on an Etihad Airways Flight from the United Arab Emirates. The rhino tusks were hidden inside plaster molds; it took a full day for customs officials to break into all of the suspicious-looking items. 

Rhino horns are incredibly lucrative on the black market — some believe the powder created from ground horns has medicinal properties, though there is no scientific evidence to back this up. A single kilo can fetch up to US$60,000, which means this haul could be worth a stunning US$7.5 million in total. 

The shipment was declared as 'exempt from examination' and there was no stated purpose for the goods, which created suspicion among customs officials. The horns have now been confiscated and an investigation has been launched, VnExpressreports. 

Recent studies suggest that demand for rhino horn is unlikely to change in Vietnam. Another report suggested the only way it will change is if the product becomes a taboo in Asia

Sadly, animal trafficking stories frequently make the news in Vietnam. Last Friday, it was reported that a Vietnamese trafficking gang was detained after being caught trying to illegally transport seven tiger carcasses from Laos to Vietnam. 

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