Customs seizes P47-M worth of rhino horns
MANILA, Philippines - A total of 6 rhinoceros horns worth approximately P47 million were recently seized at the Manila International Container Port (MICP), the Bureau of Customs announced on Friday, September 7.
The horns, with an aggregate weight of 8.5 kilos, were concealed in a container van loaded with 300 sacks of cashew nuts, Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said in a statement.
Biazon explained the suspicious cargo had arrived in the Philippines from Mozambique and the raid took place on August 25.
BoC intercepts rhinoceros horns illegally shipped into PH. Estimated at 133 US $, the 13 kgs total P 70 million - twitter.com/CommissionerBO…— Commissioner BOC (@CommissionerBOC) September 7, 2012
The commissioner added that the seizure is a boost to the participation of the Philippines in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Faura and Flora and he hopes it will discourage future smugglers from using the country as their distribution or transshipment point.
“We strongly condemn the smuggling of endangered species because it causes irreparable damage to nature and the environment. The seizure of these rhinoceros horns today should serve as a warning to ill minded traders that the Philippines is no place for them to indulge in their illicit trade,” Biazon said.
Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim noted that the company that shipped the cargo, Chisteva Import and Export of Mozambique, Africa, did not file an entry for its consignee and customs broker, which prompted customs officials to conduct surveillance operations.
Together with the rhinoceros horns, BoC seizes 300 sacks of cashew nuts which were used to hide the horns- twitter.com/CommissionerBO…— Commissioner BOC (@CommissionerBOC) September 7, 2012
“After validating the surveillance reports of our operatives that there were other concealed items in the cashew nuts importation, we immediately issued the alert order to hold the shipment,” Lim said.
Rhinoceros horns are very popular and can sell for as much as $133 per gram in Asia because of their believed healing power for diseases like cancer or malaria in Chinese traditional medicine. - Rappler.com