Vietnamese customs officials at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi seize 13 rhinoceros horns and related items from South Africa. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
Vietnam is a major consumer of rhino horn, which is believed to have medical powers, and a transit point for elephant ivory to consumers mostly in China and the US, destined to be made into jewellery and home decorations.
The country bans trade in rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolins, but weak law enforcement has allowed a black market to flourish and supply a global multi-billion-dollar industry in animal parts and exotic pets.
Authorities found nearly 34 kg (75 lb) of rhino horns was shipped by a sender in South Africa on a Qatar Airways flight to an individual in Hanoi who refused to pick up the package, local media reported.
Vietnam has cracked down on illegal wildlife products as part of its commitment to a conservation treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Last week, authorities in Da Nang in central Vietnam seized around 10 tons of ivory and pangolin scales hidden in a plastic waste container imported from Nigeria.
In 2016, the Southeast Asian nation carried out its first destruction of illegally traded ivory and rhino horn.