Zambia arrests 3 Chinese for rhino horn trafficking

A rhino that has since been killed by poachers at Zululand Rhino Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.
A rhino that has since been killed by poachers at Zululand Rhino Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal.

Lusaka - Zambian authorities on Sunday said they had arrested three Chinese nationals and two locals found carrying pieces of rhino horn at the border with Mozambique.

Parks and wildlife ministry spokesperson Sakabilo Kalembwe said the five were arrested at the Chanida border post.

They were held for "illegal possession of 25 rhino pieces weighing 32.2 kg," Kalembwe said in a statement.

The origins of the horns could not be immediately confirmed.

On Wednesday a 24-year-old Chinese woman flying from Zambia with 20 kg of rhino horn was arrested at South Africa's main airport on her way to Hong Kong.

But Kalembwe said no rhino has been reported poached in Zambia nor were any horns missing from its stockpiles in recent days.

Four decades ago, Zambia boasted a healthy rhino population of around 12 000 but by 1998 the animal was declared extinct due to rampant poaching. A few dozen have now been reintroduced into the country.

Rhino poaching is rife in southern Africa, especially in South African game reserves, fuelled by cross-border syndicates who are feeding an insatiable demand for their horn in Asia.

Rhino horn is mistakenly believed to have medicinal powers including being anti-carcinogenic.

Roughly a quarter of the world rhino population has been killed in South Africa, home to 80 percent of those remaining, in the last eight years.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Until the matric exams are over, my family is:
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Self-isolating to ensure we don't miss any exams
12% - 134 votes
Following Covid-19 safety protocols, but still going out like normal
54% - 586 votes
Business as usual, we're not worried about the virus
34% - 366 votes
Vote
ZAR/USD
16.27
(+0.48)
ZAR/GBP
21.09
(+0.37)
ZAR/EUR
18.96
(+0.80)
ZAR/AUD
11.44
(+0.64)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(+0.65)
Gold
1879.84
(+0.63)
Silver
23.62
(+1.51)
Platinum
844.00
(-0.47)
Brent Crude
38.07
(-3.48)
Palladium
2205.00
(+0.68)
All Share
51684.70
(-0.41)
Top 40
47472.92
(-0.22)
Financial 15
9459.76
(-3.04)
Industrial 25
73405.64
(+1.00)
Resource 10
47245.91
(-1.21)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo