Custom officers seize rhino horns, arrests suspected smugglers

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A collection of seized rhino horns are shown on display in Bangkok, Wednesday, Oct. 11. (Royal Thai Customs via AP)
A collection of seized rhino horns are shown on display in Bangkok, Wednesday, Oct. 11. (Royal Thai Customs via AP)

Bangkok — Thai authorities have arrested two Chinese citizens suspected of smuggling rhinoceros horns worth about US$300,000 through Bangkok’s main airport.

The eight rhino horns weighing a total of 6.2 kilograms were discovered Tuesday when airport security X-rayed the suspects’ baggage.

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The Customs Department said Wednesday that the two men were headed to Cambodia after a flight from Zambia that stopped in Addis Ababa and Bangkok.

Horns, blood, skin and urine from endangered rhinoceroses are in high demand across Asia for their use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Thai authorities say they have seized 38 rhinoceros horns worth over $6 million in three cases over the past four years.

The suspects face charges of violating customs and wildlife protection laws.

Customs Department Director-General Kulit Sombatsiri said the seized rhino horns could fetch $300,000 in Thailand and even more abroad.