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Dutch customs discover rhino horn in carvings headed to Laos

Associated Press logo Associated Press 23/06/2017

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — Dutch customs officials say they have intercepted a crate containing 12 concealed pieces of rhinoceros horn that was being sent from South Africa to Laos.

The Dutch Customs office said in a statement Friday that the horn pieces seized last week at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol weighed more than six kilograms (13 pounds) all together.

Customs spokeswoman Gera van Weenum says the parts, some of them stamped with numbers, were found hidden inside wooden carvings of human heads.

Rhinoceros horns are in high demand across Asia for their use in traditional Chinese medicine.

Officials fighting the traffic in endangered species said last year that Laos is used as a transit point to smuggle wildlife parts to other Asian countries.

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