Malaysian Customs Seizes 3.1 Million Dollar Worth of Rhino Horn

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) customs director-general Hamzah Sundang (2nd R) poses with rhino horns that were seized on April 7 from Mozambique to Kuala Lumpur via Doha, during a news conference at the airport in Sepang, Malaysia April 10, 2017. REUTERS/Rozanna Latiff

Custom Officials struck a huge blow to the trade in endangered species by uncovering a large shipment of rhino horn. 18 rhino horns were uncovered in a warehouse after agents were tipped off to their location.

According to Reuters, Malaysia is a major transit point for the trade in endangered species to other Asian countries although a customs official told Reuters Malaysia was believed to have been the final destination of the 18 horns.

The horns had been shipped to Malaysia via Doha, Qatar, on a Qatar Airways flight, using false documents and declared “Obra de arte” or “objects of art”, Hamzah said.

“The address of the consignee and the agent of the recipient didn’t exist. All the documentation used for the shipment were false," Hamzah told the news conference at the airport customs complex.

No suspects had been detained and investigations were continuing, he said.

Global trade in rhino horn is banned by a U.N. convention, but it is prized in some Asian countries as an ingredient in traditional medicines to treat everything from fever to cancer.

Right now what we are doing to prevent rhino poaching is not working. It is probably time to try a different route to save these amazing animals.

Although controversial, there are groups pushing for the legalization of the trade in rhino horn. They claim they can flood the market with sustainably harvested rhino horn and drop the black market value to price that makes poaching not worth the risk.

Rhino horn is basically made of the same substance as fingernails. The rhino can be sedated and the horn can be trimmed with zero harm done to the animal. Right now there are tons of rhino horns just sitting in warehouses just waiting for the market to open up.

You can read the complete Press release by Reuters HERE