5 August 2013
According to news reports, Czech authorities announced on 23 July that they had uncovered an international gang responsible for illegally smuggling white rhinoceros horn from South Africa to Asia, where rhino horn is used in traditional medicine.
According to Czech authorities, the crime syndicate had links to pseudo-hunting in South Africa whereby legislation allowing for non-commercial hunting trophies is exploited by proxy-hunters in order to legally repatriate trophy horns to the Czech Republic and illegally trade them further to unspecified Asian countries. The uncovering comes after concerns were raised earlier this year over the recruitment of sport hunters in the Czech Republic and Poland in order to obtain rhino horn in South Africa on behalf of Vietnamese operatives.
Source: AFP | Czech police crack rhinoceros horn smuggling ring
Source: CITES | Interpretation and implementation of the Convention | Species trade and conservation | Rhinoceroses | Report of the Secretariat | Sixteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties, Bangkok (Thailand), 3-14 March 2013 | CoP16 Doc. 54.2 (Rev. 1)
Source: Save the Rhino | Czech authorities uncover major rhino horn smuggling case