Police in Vietnam have seized more than 700 kilograms (1,500 pounds) of rhino horns and elephant tusks believed to have originated from Mozambique, state media said Friday. The haul of prized animal parts was discovered hidden in two containers on board a ship carrying ground stones at the central port of Da Nang on Thursday, Tuoi Tre newspaper said. “The elephant tusks weighed 593 kilograms and the rhino horn chunks weighed 142 kilograms,” the report said, adding that the illegal shipment had come via Malaysia.
The final destination of the shipment was not reported but the boat was scheduled to stop in on Vietnam’s northern Hai Phong port. Communist Vietnam has long been accused of being one of the world’s worst countries for trade in endangered species. There have been a number of campaigns to warn Vietnamese not to use products from endangered animals but they have had little success. Demand for rhino horn remains high with people mistakenly believing it can cure anything from cancer to hangovers despite an absolute dearth of scientific evidence.