On 27th July 2017, a joint team of investigators from the Zambia Revenue Authority, Department of National Parks and Wildlife (Chipata) and the Immigration Department arrested a group of five suspected wildlife criminals for illegal possession of rhino horn.
Three Chinese and two Zambian men were arrested at Chanida, Eastern Province, close to the border between Zambia and Mozambique with 25 pieces of rhino horn weighing approximately 32kgs.
It is not yet known where the rhino horn emanates from. Zambia lost the majority of its indigenous rhino population to poaching by the early 1990s.
However, this major bust now demonstrates the Zambian Government’s commitment to tackling wildlife crime and trafficking and its dedication to the conservation of our Zambian wildlife resources for future generations. Poachers and traffickers will not be tolerated in Zambia.
An average set of Rhino horns cost as much as $300, 000 on the black market.
The deadly illegal rhino trade supplies mostly Vietnam and China, where rhino horn is often ground to a powder and ingested as a treatment for everything from cancer to sea snake bites and hangovers. Inspired by years of erroneous reporting by media, people have recently also been using rhino horn as an aphrodisiac. Rhino horn is in fact made of keratin, the same protein which forms human hair and finger nails and has no scientifically proven medical properties.
Under the Zambia Wildlife Act no.14 of 2015 the suspects, if found guilty can