05 Aug '11, 12am

Men given 10 years in prison for smuggling rhino horns:

JOHANNESBURG - TWO Vietnamese men were sentenced to prison in South Africa after rhino horns were found in their luggage at Johannesburg's airport last year, the wildlife group Traffic said. Duc Manh Chu was handed a 10-year sentence for trying to smuggle 12 rhino horns out of the country, with an additional two-year sentences for fraud. Phi Hung Nguyeng was slapped with eight years for six horns tucked in his luggage, the group said. 'The stiff penalties handed out today have sent a strong message to rhino poachers and traffickers that their actions will be heavily punished,' said Mr Tom Milliken, Traffic's programme coordinator, in a statement. Prosecutors could not be reached for comment. Rhino poaching in South Africa has reached crisis levels, with over 200 animals killed in the first half of 2011, according to wildlife organisations. By July 15, 218 rhinos had been p...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/SEAsia/Story/STI...

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