Nepal police bust rhino poaching gang

2013-10-08 12:20
A pregnant rhino cow has been brutally killed. (Askari Game Lodge & Spa, file)

A pregnant rhino cow has been brutally killed. (Askari Game Lodge & Spa, file)

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Kathmandu - Nepal police arrested 14 people on charges of rhino poaching, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

Chitwan National Park authorities said the men had been arrested in various places around the country during an operation they started in September.

Police said they had busted a major group involved in supplying rhino horns from Chitwan to Kathmandu, from where they are smuggled across the border to Tibet.

One of the suspects, Buddhi Bahadur Praja, is accused of being involved in rhino poaching for more than a decade, killing 12 rhino. Police said the charges could carry a 15-year jail term and fines.

The poaching became rampant in Nepal during the civil war period of 1996 - 2006, during which the number of rhino dropped from 600 to 375.

Authorities said they have been successful in curbing the crime. Only one case of rhino poaching was reported last year.

The official figure of rhino in Nepal currently stands at 534. The horns are prized for their alleged medicinal qualities in China and some countries in south-east Asia.
Read more on:    rhino poaching

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