Thai officials seize smuggled rhino horns

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Associated Press

Posted on January 6, 2013 at 11:34 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 7 at 3:04 AM

BANGKOK (AP) — Thai authorities have seized more than $500,000 worth of rhino horn from passenger's luggage at a Bangkok airport.

Thai Customs officer Khanit Isdul said Sunday that officials acting on a tip-off found four rhino horns in the passenger's luggage at Suvarnabhumi International Airport.

Officials arrested Phan Quangloc, a 56-year-old Vietnamese passenger who arrived with the case from Ethiopia on Sunday. He is expected to face a jail term in Thailand if convicted of smuggling.

Officials estimated the value of the confiscated horns, cut into 6 sections, at 18 million baht ($586,000).

Asia is the main market for smuggled rhino horn, as some people believe it can cure diseases. Trade in rhino parts is banned under international agreements.

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