TRAFFIC: Organized criminal gangs behind rhino horn processing in South Africa—new study

 

 

For more Information, please consult the following PDF Documents:

TRAFFIC Pendants Powder and Pathways-FULL-REPORT-web.pdf (2.5 MiB)

 

 

Pretoria, South Africa, 18th September 2017—A TRAFFIC report released today reveals disturbing new evidence that some criminal networks of Chinese origin operating in South Africa are now processing rhino horn locally into beads, bracelets, bangles and powder to evade detection and provide ready-made products to consumers in Asia, mainly in Viet Nam and China.

 

 

The report, Pendants, Powder and Pathways—A rapid assessment of smuggling routes and techniques used in the illicit trade in African rhino horn, documents recent cases in which police have discovered small home-based workshops for processing rhino horn and have seized beads, bracelets and bags of rhino horn powder.

 

 

Prior to these cases, seizures have typically comprised whole horns, or ones simply cut into two or more pieces.

 

“It is a growing problem,” Colonel Johan Jooste, national commander of the Endangered Species Section in South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), told TRAFFIC researchers. “The syndicates no longer want to export whole horns. They have begun cutting them up into what they call ‘disks’ and large beads in line with demand on the market side and in order to avoid detection…”

 

 

More than 7,100 rhinos have been killed for their horns in Africa over the past decade. South Africa, home to 79% of Africa’s last remaining rhinos, is the centre of the storm, suffering 91% of the continent’s known poaching losses in 2016. Facilitated by resilient, highly-adaptive criminal networks and endemic corruption in many countries along the illicit supply chain, demand for rhino horn is driven by consumers in Asia, with Viet Nam and China identified as the dominant end use markets.

 

 

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For more Information, please consult the following PDF Documents:

 

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