Two foreign nationals arrested at OR Tambo International Airport earlier this year for illegal possession of rhino horn have been convicted and sentenced at the Kempton Park Regional Court.
Duc Manh Chu and Phi Hung Nguyeng were arrested after scanner operators at the airport detected suspicious objects in the men’s luggage and alerted the South African Police Service.
Chu was sentenced to 10 years for the illegal possession of 12 rhino horns and an additional two years for fraud, while Nguyeng was sentenced to six years for the illegal possession of six rhino horns and an additional two years for fraud. This is the highest penalty handed down for a biodiversity crime to date under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act.
The magistrate said the penalty for possession of rhino horn was the same whether the couriers had killed the rhino or not.
Sourced via Tourism Update for ecoAfrica Travel