VietNamNet Bridge – The price for ivory is from VND30 to VND40 million ($1,500-2,000) per kilo and over VND1 billion ($50,000) per a kilo for rhinoceros horns. For hefty profits from these products, many smuggling cases worth of millions of US dollars have been detected in Vietnam.


On January 6, 2013, a Vietnamese man entered Vietnam at the Tan Son Nhat International Airport, HCM City. He did not show off customs declarations and confirmed to have no goods for customs declaration.

But when checking his luggage, customs officers detected 9 pieces of solid things, like horns, wrapped in foil, and they suspected them as rhino horns, weighing 16.26 kg.

The things were examined at the HCM City Institute of Criminal Science and they were determined as African rhino horns. By market value, this volume of horns is worth tens of billions dong (a million of USD).
On January 7, 2013, a Vietnamese was detected to carry 27kg of rhino horns at the Bangkok airport (Thailand). This man flew from Ethiopia to Thailand and was waiting for a flight to Hanoi. The value of the shipments is up to $1.5 million.

The Vietnamese man confessed that he was transporting the horns from Mozambique to Vietnam. He was accused of illegally carrying organs of wild animals, as well as banned goods into Thailand. If being convicted, the man may be subject to four years in prison and fines of at least 40,000 Baht ($1,200).

In early November 2012, the Customs Department of Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi and Quang Ninh police arrested two cases of rhino horn smuggling cases.

On the night of November 4, at Noi Bai International Airport, over the luggage screening, the customs authority found Nguyen Van Chien and Nguyen Van Than in Hanoi transported 7 rhino horns weighing 23kg.

Two days later, on November 6, by checking a car with the number plate of Hanoi on Highway 18A, Quang Ninh provincial police found one backpack containing pieces of rhino horns, weighing 3 kg, worth about VND2 billion ($100,000).

In June 2012, a Vietnamese named Doan Minh, 41, was arrested for smuggling seven rhino horns and 3 ivory bracelets in the waiting room of the Bangkok Airport, for the transit flight from Kenya to Hanoi.

Doan Minh passes through the last security check but he was discovered shortly before getting on board. The reason for the package omitted within the security check is that it was wrapped in a special kind of paper to make the horns "invisible" when going through the scanner. They were also wrapped with garlic to hide the smell.

The seven horns are said to be the horn of the rhinos killed in the Kruger National Park and nature reserves along the border of South Africa. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of Mozambique, these horns are worth up to $2 million on the black market.

On 24/11/2012, HCM City Police arrested Tran Van Thai, Director of the Thai Minh Import-Export Co., Ltd. Based in Binh Thanh District and Le Van Tu, Deputy Director, to investigate their acts of smuggling.

In June 2012, Thai Minh Company registered to open electronic customs declarations for a shipment of salted cowhide. However, when the shipment was checked, it turned out that the container consisting of 158 tusks, weighing 2.475kg, estimated to be worth VND5 million. Tu and Thai confessed of smuggling tusks.

According to popular perception of people in Vietnam and many Asian countries, rhino horn can be used to cure cancer and enhance men’s sexual ability while wearing ivory can help avoid harmful wind...

Because of the rumors that elephant tusks and rhino horns become increasingly rare and expensive. Although these are prohibited from imports and trade, but for hefty profit, trafficking of ivory, rhino horn still occurs with sophisticated tactics.

However, scientists said that the use of rhino horn as rumor has not been proven. Even rhino horns have many complex components with a variety of active ingredients derived alien to humans, so horns may cause allergic reactions and toxicity.

Similarly, ivory is expensive but has no effect on health. In terms of the mechanical structure, the ivory is in fact just similar as tooth.
Compiled by Na Son