Story By: Alex Cope, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Central European News
Airport authorities have seized 34 kilograms (75 lbs) of rhino horns worth nearly two million GBP that were being illegally smuggled into Asia in a passenger’s luggage.
The seizure was made at Istanbul Ataturk Airport near the city of Istanbul in Turkey’s Marmara province after a flight from Mozambique landed.
The Vietnamese passenger’s travel history has reportedly triggered flags in the Turkish Intelligence service’s system and he was arrested after his flight from Mozambique landed in Istanbul.
The suspect was reportedly making his way to Ho Chi Minh airport in Vietnam when Turkish authorities found 34 kilograms of rhino horns in his luggage.
The horns are reportedly worth 12 million TRY (1,786,800 GBP) and were seized under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) laws.
The horns have been given to the local Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock as the investigation into the case is ongoing.
Vietnam is the world’s largest consumer of rhino horn, where it is reportedly used in traditional medicine and as a status symbol.
It is unclear if the suspect has been charged.