National Parks Board seizes 34 kg of rhinoceros horns; largest seizure of rhinoceros horns in Singapore to date
05 Oct 2022
- 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns, amounting to around S$1.2 million, were found in two pieces of transit baggage bound for Laos
On 4 October 2022, the National Parks Board (NParks) seized 20 pieces of rhinoceros horns that were being smuggled through Singapore Changi Airport. Airport security and NParks’ K9 Unit detected and inspected two pieces of baggage and found 34 kg of rhinoceros horns, estimated to be worth around S$1,200,000 (approximately US$830,000). The owner of the bags, who was travelling from South Africa to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic through Singapore, was immediately arrested and the rhinoceros horns were seized by NParks. This is the largest seizure of rhinoceros horns in Singapore to date.
Rhinoceros are protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and international trade in rhinoceros horns is prohibited. Singapore is a signatory to CITES and is committed to international efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade to ensure the long-term survival of these animals. Genetic testing is being carried out at NParks’ Centre for Wildlife Forensics to identify the rhinoceros species. The horns will subsequently be destroyed to prevent them from re-entering the market, disrupting the global supply chain of illegally traded rhinoceros horns.
Under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act, the penalties for the possession of CITES-scheduled species in transit in Singapore without a valid CITES permit, is a fine of up to S$50,000 per scheduled species (not exceeding an aggregate of S$500,000), and or up to 2 years’ imprisonment. The same penalties apply to the possession of or transhipment of CITES-scheduled species, including their parts and derivatives.
Singapore adopts a zero-tolerance stance on the illegal trade of endangered wildlife species, and their parts and derivatives. Our agencies collaborate closely in a multi-pronged approach, which includes working with our international partners, to maintain vigilance in regulating and enforcing against illegal wildlife trade.
The community can play a key role as well by ensuring their purchases do not contain animal parts of endangered species, and not contributing to the demand for the illegal trade of wildlife. Members of the public can contact NParks at firstname.lastname@example.org if they spot any occurrences of illegal wildlife trade. Information shared will be kept strictly confidential.