Rhinoceros horns worth S$1.2mil recovered at Changi Airport - largest seizure to date


The 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns weigh about 34kg in total and are estimated to be worth around $1.2 million.- NPARKS

SINGAPORE (The Straits Times/Asia News Network): About 34kg of rhinoceros horns worth around S$1.2 million were intercepted at Changi Airport on Tuesday (Oct 4) in the largest seizure of rhinoceros horns in Singapore to date.

The horns were detected by officers from airport security and the National Parks Board's (NParks) K9 unit.

They found 20 pieces of the horns in two transit baggage bound for Laos.

The bags' owner, who was travelling through Singapore from South Africa, was arrested immediately, said NParks on Wednesday.

"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," added NParks.

Genetic testing is currently being carried out at its Centre for Wildlife Forensics to identify which species of rhinoceros the horns came from.

The horns will subsequently be destroyed, NParks said.

This is to prevent them from re-entering the market as well as to disrupt the global supply chain of illegally traded rhinoceros horns.

Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, an individual in possession of a Cites-scheduled species travelling through Singapore without a valid Cites permit will be liable to a fine of $50,000 per species (not exceeding $500,000).

He could also be jailed for up to two years.

The same penalties apply to those possessing or transporting parts and derivatives of Cites-scheduled species.

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