Hong Kong Customs officials have intercepted a shipment of 82.5 kilos of rhinoceros horns and other members, which constitutes a record seizure of poaching products related to this threatened species, the Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported. .
The discovery occurred Friday at Hong Kong Airport, where the aforementioned shipment arrived from South Africa and whose final destination was Malaysia, and which was listed as auto parts.
According to the newspaper, after passing through X-ray machines, officials detected something suspicious in the cargo and decided to act to intercept the goods, although for the moment there have been no arrests.
Hong Kong estimated the value of the goods at 16.5 million Hong Kong dollars, equivalent to about 2.1 million dollars or 1.87 million euros.
In China and some Southeast Asian countries it is believed that the rhinoceros horn has medicinal or aphrodisiac properties, an end that has never been scientifically confirmed.
This belief, added to the increase in purchasing power in these countries, has made more vulnerable populations already threatened by rhinos (for their horns) African elephants (for their fangs), pangolins (for their scales and meat) or of lions (for their bones), among other species.
On 1 February, Hong Kong announced that it had confiscated 2.1 tons of elephant tusks and 8.3 tons of pangolin flakes from a container from Nigeria to Vietnam and that, according to the authorities, were destined for to the Chinese mainland for use in traditional medicine and high-quality sculptures.
Two weeks later, Hong Kong customs seized 24 rhinoceros horns weighing a total of 40 kilos, a figure that, until Friday's finding, was the record seizure of rhinoceros poaching products by the Hong Kong authorities.
In the black market, the horn reaches values of between 60,000 and 80,000 dollars per kilo.