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Police in Cabo Delgado have detained a Chinese couple at Pemba Airport after finding 3.6 kilograms of rhinoceros horn hidden in the bottom of a suitcase. The couple were about to board a flight to China.
According to a police spokesperson, the origin of the rhino horns was unknown, but police believe they have disrupted an international network that has been decimating wildlife in Mozambique and neighbouring countries.
“It was difficult to detect and identify the product, because it was cut into pieces, shaped like slices of bread, and another part was reduced to small cylinders that looked like works of art. But, after examination, it was concluded that what we actually had was rhinoceros horn, and that’s when we detained the owners of the baggage, two citizens of Chinese origin, and formally accused them of trafficking in wildlife resources,” the police spokesman confirmed.
Repeated seizures of suspected wildlife and mineral resources traffickers at Pemba Airport are worrying police, who a few months ago began an internal investigation into the possible involvement of corporation agents.
In less than a month, a quantity of wildlife and mineral resources about to leave the country illegally has been seized at Pemba Airport. Almost all those detained are of Chinese origin. Police suspect the involvement of their agents because of the security weaknesses identified by traffickers, especially in the latest cases.
The alleged traffickers refused to speak to the press, but admitted to police they owned the luggage where the rhino horn was hidden. They said that they were delivering it to the family of a Chinese friend who had lived in Mozambique for several years.
This is one of the largest rhino horn seizures at Pemba Airport, which has recently emerged as one of the main trafficking routes for wildlife and mineral resources and illegal immigrants, most of whom arrive in the country with the aim of plundering natural resources.
By Hizidine AcháSource: O País
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