According to the customs sub-department at the Tan Son Nhat airport, these are the horns of very rare African double-horned rhinos, which have been banned from trading, exporting and exporting under the Convention on International Trade on Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The value of the exhibits is estimated at nearly VND8 billion (US$352,000) in the free market.
The 41-year-old man hid the rhino horns in formula milk, food and clothes boxes in an attempt to escape authorized forces’ notice.
The customs officers are completing procedures to prosecute the case and working with relevant agencies to further investigate the smuggling ring and the man’s violations.
Last month, customs officers at Noi Bai International Airport also found rhino horns and wild animals’ fangs in the luggage of a Vietnamese woman who had been on a flight from Bangkok to Hanoi.
All of the seized exhibits were then transferred to the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology’s Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources for assessment. The smuggler and the exhibits were later handed over to Soc Son district police.
There are only 25,000 wild rhinos in the world, with the population dropping by 95% over the last four decades.
Conservationists have warned that rhinos will become extinct within the next 10 years if poaching is not stopped. The last Java rhino in Vietnam was killed at Cat Tien National Park in 2010.