1.3 tons of poached rhino horn, ivory seized in Mozambique

2015-05-14 18:12


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Maputo - Police in Mozambique said on Thursday they had seized 1.3 tons of elephant ivory and rhino horn - the result of killing about 200 animals - in the country's biggest ever find of illegal wildlife products.

An Asian man was arrested on the outskirts of the capital Maputo at a house where the stash was stored.

Rhino are extinct in Mozambique, but hunters from the country are often armed by transnational crime syndicates to kill rhinos and elephants across the border in South Africa.

The police raid on Tuesday discovered 340 elephant tusks, weighing 1 160kg,  and 65 rhino horns, weighing 124kg.

"The man lived alone in the house for three months and hid his illegal activity by pretending to be involved in tin can recycling," Emidio Mabunda, spokesperson for the Maputo provincial police, said.

"Some of the tusks still have fresh blood, a sign that some of animals could have been killed recently."

Mabunda clarified earlier reports that the man was Chinese, says he was Asian but his nationality was not confirmed.

South Africa has been hit with a sharp rise in rhino poaching in recent years, with numbers at record levels this year despite renewed government efforts and the use of helicopters and anti-poaching dogs.

Kruger National Park

The 65 rhino horns seized were most likely hacked from animals slaughtered in the Kruger National Park.

Rhino horn is prized in Asia for its supposed medicinal properties in traditional cures for cancer, impotence and hangovers, while elephant ivory is highly valued in China and Thailand in artworks or jewellery.

The cache was reported to have a street value of about $6.3m.

Police hope that the suspect will lead them to the trafficking gang behind poaching.

They added that the illegal goods were ready to be smuggled out the country.

"It should be destroyed to send a message to the world that... we are shifting to another level of intervention in the fight against poaching," prominent environmental activist Carlos Serra said.

Read more on:    mozambique  |  knp  |  conservation  |  rhino poaching

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.