The handover to South Africa of rhino horn samples from the seizures demonstrates Vietnam’s responsibility in implementing CITES.
On June 1, 2021, the representative of the CITES Management Authority of Vietnam – General Department of Forestry and the Institute of Ecology and Natural Resources organized the handover of 56 rhino horn DNA samples to the Embassy of South Africa in Hanoi. Previously, Vietnam had also arranged five handovers of rhino horn DNA samples collected from the seizures to South Africa.
“The handover of rhino horn specimens to South Africa demonstrates the responsibility to implement CITES in Vietnam, including Resolution 9.14 on commercial conservation of Asian and African rhino specimens. This action also demonstrates the close cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of South Africa in implementing commitments to combat illegal wildlife trade,” – Mr. Pham Van Dien, Deputy Director of the General Department of Forestry, said.
Rhino horn samples were seized from arrests of illegal import and trafficking of rhino horn into Vietnam. The handover of DNA samples in Vietnam and other capturing countries to South Africa, a country with many rhinoceros living, will help law enforcement agencies of both sides trace the source of samples and assist in investigating those involved in the illegal supply chain of rhino horn.
In recent years, the import and trade of rhino horn in Vietnam show signs of increasing again since a series of large-scale smuggling cases have been investigated and arrested by the authorities. The most prominent are two rhino horn trafficking lines that have been dismantled at Tan Son Nhat International Airport and Van Don International Airport. The total number of rhino horn exhibits seized was 93kg and 7.8kg, respectively. The estimated value of shipments reached several tens of billions of dong.
According to Bnews