Friday 15 May 2015

Mozambique police seize huge amount of ivory and rhino horns

The Mozambican police on Tuesday seized about 1.3 tonnes of ivory and rhinoceros horns from a house in the southern city of Matola.

This is the largest seizure of illicit wildlife products in Mozambican history. The haul consisted of 340 elephant tusks, weighing 1,160 kilos, and 65 rhino horns, weighing 124 kilos.

The criminal gang involved in this trafficking had thus killed 170 elephants and 65 rhinos. The police arrested a Chinese citizen who seemed to be living alone in the house. The police hope he will lead them to other members of the trafficking ring.

The seizure has a street value of over 6.3 million dollars.

Since both species of African rhinoceros, the black and the white, are believed to be extinct in southern Mozambique, the 65 horns seized in Matola almost certainly come from animals poached in South Africa.

Between January and April the poaching gangs killed 393 South African rhinos, an 18 per cent increase on the same period in 2014.

The ivory could have come from Mozambican or South African animals.

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