Php 47 Million Rhino Horns Shipment Seized
Nothing illegal gets through the enhanced intelligence network of the Bureau of Customs Intelligence Group under Deputy Commissioner Danilo Lim, when Lim’s Manila International Container Port (MICP) operatives headed by MICP-Customs Intelligence and Investigation Service (CIIS) Officer-in-Charge Bienvenido Rubio, seized six (6) pieces of rhinoceros horns worth Php 47 million recently.
Concealed in a container van loaded with 300 sacks of cashew nuts, the rhinoceros horns shipment was seized by the MICP-CIIS operatives for violation of Section 101 par.K 2503 of the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauraand Flora, (CITES).
In commending Lim’s group during the presentation of the seized rhinoceros horns to media today, Customs Commissioner RuffyBiazon said, the rhino horns seizure with an aggregate weight of 8.5 kilos which arrived at the MICP from Mozambique, Africa on August 25, 2012, is a big boost to the country’s participation in the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Faura and Flora, as it will discourage unscrupulous traders from using the Philippines as either, its distribution or transhipment point for their illicit rhinoceros horns trading.
“We strongly condemn the smuggling of endangered species because it causes irreparable damage to nature and the environment.’ Biazon said, adding that, “The seizure of these rhinoceros horns today should serve as a warning to ill minded traders that the Philippines is no place for them to indulge in their illicit trade.”
For his part, Lim explained that the shipper of the rhinoceros horns, Chisteva Import and Export of Mozambique, Africa , did not file an entry for its consignee and customs broker, prompting MICP-CIIS operatives to conduct surveillance operations on said shipment.
“After validating the surveillance reports of our operatives that there were other concealed items in the cashew nuts importation, we immediately issued the Alert Order to hold the shipment.” Lim said.
Rhinoceros horns are highly popular and command big money in Asia because of its believed healing power for illnesses like cancer and malaria among others when pulverized. It’s current market price per gram in Asia is placed at US$ 133.00, making its 8.5 kilos rhino horns shipment worth US$ 1,130,500.00, or Php47,481.000.00 at the current exchange rate of Php. 42.00 to a US Dollar.