Rhino Horn Smugglers Caught in US

An international smuggling ring illegally collecting and selling rhino horns was broken up by authorities over the past weekend. Over 150 federal agents raided homes and business in a number of states. Over $1 million in cash, $1 million in gold bars, diamonds and Rolex watches, and 20 rhino horns were confiscated.

In southern California three alleged smugglers were apprehended, and each faces four counts of rhino horn trafficking. These individuals reportedly are Vietnamese-American, which is only relevant because many rhino horns wind up in Vietnam where there is demand due to inaccurate beliefs they have medical value such as curing cancer. Other horns are distributed illegally to China, also to supply people who have very outdated false views rhino horn has some kind of special value. Scientifically, it really has no curative power, because the main ingredient is keratin, the same protein found in human fingernails and hair.

“By taking out this ring of rhino horn traffickers, we have shut down a major source of black market horn and dealt a serious blow to rhino horn smuggling both in the U.S. and globally,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. (Source: Washington Post) Three people living in Texas were also caught, at the Long Beach airport. Only one of them has been jailed though.

Rhino horn can sell for over $20,000 per pound, even though medically it is worthless. Superstitions around it are fueling the destruction of one of the planet’s largest land mammals. In South Africa, over 341 rhinos were illegally killed in 2011, the most ever for that country.

Also in 2011, it was reported the last wild Javan rhino in Vietnam was killed, resulting in the extinction of rhinos there. Wild black rhinos in Western Africa were also driven into extinction recently.

If you ever see online ads selling rhino horn or other endangered animals, it might help catch the criminals to send the link in an email to police.

Image Credit: Staycoolandbegood, Public Domain

Related Links

19 Poachers Arrested for Killing Rhinos

Nearly Extinct Rhino Babies Caught on Video


Winn Adams
Winn A5 years ago


Nr B.
Nancy B5 years ago


Victoria S.
Victoria S5 years ago

Great news, if only they could also arrest the people who buy the Rhino horns. If people didn't buy them, the Rhinos wouldn't be killed in the first place

Knut Franckenstein
Knut F5 years ago

Good news! Cut their dicks off now and send them to their chinese Boss for consumption in their restaurant.
I wouldn't be surprised if those poachers were bloody Chinese arsholes anyway. Hang them high and catch all the rest of that scum, thanks!

Lyneane L.
Lyneane Lewis5 years ago

I trust the USA officials are not corruptible like the South Africans are, lossing case files or been paid off to let the criminals escape.

Jay Williamson
Jay w5 years ago

awesome stuff so happy to hear at least 4 have been caught. I hope they spend a long time in jail

Lisa Lungul
Lisa Lungul5 years ago

Huge victory!~

Anand YNI
Anand Y N I5 years ago

Someone may please correct me if I am wrong.

I have heard that most of these products including those of tigers go to China to prepare Chinese medicines. Is it the correct information?

Anand YNI
Anand Y N I5 years ago

Well done Federal Police!! hang these fellows upside down for 48 hours. No water and no food during this time. If they are moving after 48 h, repeat the procedure!!

Michaela C.

Hang them high! and then tell the world that poachers-dick is good for mens fertillity. Then use the money from the sale of the Dicks to protect the Rhinos. It is sad that in the 21st century Men still belive in ancient superstitious nonsens regardless that sience have proven this is not so.