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Singapore

Rhinoceros horns worth S$1.2 million seized at Changi Airport, largest such haul in Singapore

20 pieces of rhinoceros horns were found in transit baggage bound for Laos.

Rhinoceros horns worth S$1.2 million seized at Changi Airport, largest such haul in Singapore

The 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns weighed about 34kg in total and were estimated to be worth around S$1.2 million. (Photo: National Parks Board of Singapore)

SINGAPORE: The National Parks Board (NParks) on Tuesday (Oct 4) seized 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns that were being smuggled through Singapore Changi Airport.

Airport security and NParks' K9 Unit detected and inspected two bags and found 34kg of rhinoceros horns, estimated to be worth around S$1.2 million, NParks said in a media release on Wednesday.

This is Singapore's largest seizure of rhinoceros horns to date, it added.

"The owner of the bags, who was travelling from South Africa to the Lao People's Democratic Republic through Singapore, was immediately arrested and the rhinoceros horns were seized by NParks."

Rhinoceros are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), to which Singapore is a signatory.

Under CITES, international trade in rhinoceros horns is prohibited.

Singapore is committed to international efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade to ensure the long-term survival of these animals, said NParks.

"Genetic testing is being carried out at NParks' Centre for Wildlife Forensics to identify the rhinoceros species," it added.

"The horns will subsequently be destroyed to prevent them from re-entering the market, disrupting the global supply chain of illegally traded rhinoceros horns."

Under Singapore’s Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, those who are found in possession of CITES-scheduled species in transit in Singapore without valid CITES permits face a fine of up to S$50,000 per scheduled species, not exceeding an aggregate of S$500,000, up to two years in prison, or both.

"Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance stance on the illegal trade of endangered wildlife species, and their parts and derivatives," NParks said.

"Our agencies collaborate closely in a multi-pronged approach, which includes working with our international partners, to maintain vigilance in regulating and enforcing against illegal wildlife trade."

Source: CNA/kg(rj)
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