DECLINING NUMBERS: South Africa is home to the densest population of rhinos in the world and has seen a 9 000% increase in rhino poaching from 2007 to 2014. Picture: The Washington Post
JOHANNESBURG -  Authorities in Vietnam seized 13 rhinoceros horns and related items from South Africa on Friday, just two weeks after the seizure of a tonne of illegal wild life products, state media said.

Vietnam is a major consumer of rhino horn, which is believed to have medical powers, and a transit point for elephant ivory to consumers mostly in China and the United States, destined to be made into jewellery and home decorations.

The communist country bans trade in rhino horn, elephant ivory and pangolins, but weak law enforcement has allowed a black market to flourish and supply a global multi-billion-dollar industry in animal parts and exotic pets.


Authorities found nearly 34 kg (75 lb) of rhino horns was shipped by a sender in South Africa on a Qatar Airways flight to an individual in Vietnam who refused to pick up the package, state-run Vietnam Plus said.

Vietnam has cracked down on illegal wildlife products as part of its commitment to a conservation treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

Last month, authorities in Hanoi seized nearly a tonne of elephant ivory and related products and pangolin scales from Nigeria, Vietnam Plus said.

In 2016, the Southeast Asian nation carried out its first destruction of illegally traded ivory and rhino horn. 

REUTERS