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Environmental Affairs Dept praises seizure of rhino horns in Hong Kong

Customs officials in Hong Kong have arrested two men travelling from Johannesburg after seizing a record 40 kilogrammes of rhino horns worth around R14 million.

The rhino horns seized by Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department on February 14, 2019. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - The Environmental Affairs Department has applauded customs officials in Hong Kong for arresting two men travelling from Johannesburg with 40 kilogrammes of rhino horn.

The horns, worth an estimated R14 million, were found in two carton boxes destined for Vietnam.

The nationalities of those arrested has not yet been disclosed.

This is the latest bust for authorities trying to tackle the rising volume of endangered species trafficked through the Chinese territory.

The department's Albi Modise has welcomed the arrests.

"To ensure that our efforts to deal with poaching is better placed, and South Africa has played a part here, recorded the dateline of rhinos that have been poached for their horns with a total of about 769 that have been poached in 2018 as compared to 1,028 in 2017."