"Federal Raids a 'Serious Blow' To Rhino Trade"

"Federal wildlife investigators in California and other states say they have cracked an international smuggling ring that trafficked for years in sawed-off rhinoceros horns, which fetch stratospheric prices in Vietnam and China for their supposed cancer-curing powers."

"More than 150 federal agents and other local enforcement officers raided homes and businesses and made several arrests in a dozen states over the weekend, including three alleged traffickers in Southern California.

'By taking out this ring of rhino horn traffickers, we have shut down a major source of black market horn and dealt a serious blow to rhino horn smuggling both in the U.S. and globally,' said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe.

The Fish and Wildlife Service seized more than $1 million in cash, $1 million in gold bars, diamonds and Rolex watches, along with 20 rhino horns, in the raids. Much of that was found at Jimmy Kha's import-export business in Westminster, in his safety-deposit boxes and at his Garden Grove home, according to law enforcement officials."

Kenneth R. Weiss reports for the Los Angeles Times February 23, 2012.

Source: LA Times, 02/23/2012