Newsdeck

Malaysia seizes big shipment of rhino horns at airport

By AFP 10 April 2017

Enforcement officials in Malaysia have seized 18 rhinoceros horns imported from Mozambique, weighing 51.4 kg and worth 13.7 million ringgit ($3.1 million), a senior customs official said Monday.

Airport customs director Hamzah Sundang said officials acting on a tip-off discovered the horns in a wooden crate at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport cargo terminal last Friday.

The haul is the latest indication that Malaysia has become an Asian transit hub for the illicit ivory and rhino horn trade.

The crate, listed as containing art objects, was imported from Mozambique on board a Qatar Airways flight which transited in Doha before arriving in Malaysia, Hamzah said in a statement. 

Hamzah said the destination was listed as being in the town of Nilai in Malaysia’s southern state of Negri Sembilan but it was a false address.

Rhino horn has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years and is also carved into highly prized libation cups.

Under Malaysian law, it is an offence to import rhino horns without a licence.

In April last year Malaysia destroyed 9.5 tonnes of elephant ivory that it had seized over the years, in a move intended to deter smugglers who have long used the country as a trans-shipment point.

Malaysia has previously announced in parliament that 4,624 ivory tusks were confiscated between 2011 and 2014.

Ivory from African elephants is typically smuggled to Asia where it is carved into ornaments.

Hamzah also said 2.12 kg of ketamine worth 94.4 million ringgit was confiscated at the airport’s budget terminal from a foreigner who arrived last Wednesday from Chennai in India.

“During an X-ray of the man’s bag, we found white crystals which we believe was ketamine,” he said. 

Hamzah said the case was being investigated under the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction. DM

Gallery

Watch Pauli van Wyk’s Cat Play The Piano Here!

No, not really. But now that we have your attention, we wanted to tell you a little bit about what happened at SARS.

Tom Moyane and his cronies bequeathed South Africa with a R48-billion tax shortfall, as of February 2018. It's the only thing that grew under Moyane's tenure... the year before, the hole had been R30.7-billion. And to fund those shortfalls, you know who has to cough up? You - the South African taxpayer.

It was the sterling work of a team of investigative journalists, Scorpio’s Pauli van Wyk and Marianne Thamm along with our great friends at amaBhungane, that caused the SARS capturers to be finally flushed out of the system. Moyane, Makwakwa… the lot of them... gone.

But our job is not yet done. We need more readers to become Maverick Insiders, the friends who will help ensure that many more investigations will come. Contributions go directly towards growing our editorial team and ensuring that Daily Maverick and Scorpio have a sustainable future. We can’t rely on advertising and don't want to restrict access to only those who can afford a paywall subscription. Membership is about more than just contributing financially – it is about how we Defend Truth, together.

So, if you feel so inclined, and would like a way to support the cause, please join our community of Maverick Insiders.... you could view it as the opposite of a sin tax. And if you are already Maverick Insider, tell your mother, call a friend, whisper to your loved one, shout at your boss, write to a stranger, announce it on your social network. The battle for the future of South Africa is on, and you can be part of it.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

Family Ties

Ramaphosa acts to smooth relations with Botswana after Bridgette Radebe controversy

By Carien Du Plessis

A lightning bolt is 5 times hotter than the sun's surface.