Vietnamese man assisting with investigations after illegal rhino horns seized by AVA

A 29-year-old Vietnamese man is assisting with investigations after the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) seized eight cut pieces of illegal rhino horns transiting through Changi Airport on Aug 31.

AVA said in a news release that it collaborated with the Singapore Customs and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority to investigate, after receiving a tip-off about an attempt to smuggle illegal wildlife products through Singapore,

The Vietnamese man, a transit passenger who was flying from Dubai to Laos via Changi Airport, was stopped.

Upon inspection of his luggage, eight pieces of cut rhino horns, concealed as gifts, were detected and seized.

It is an offence to illegally import and export/re-export, transit, possess, sell, offer/advertise for sale or display to the public any illegal wildlife species (including their parts and derivatives) in Singapore.

Offenders are liable to a fine of up to $500,000 and/or two years in jail, in addition to the forfeiture of the contraband.

The Singapore government adopts a zero tolerance stance on the use of Singapore as a conduit to smuggle endangered species and their parts and derivatives, AVA added in its news release.